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Hot SEALs Undercover Groom – SEALs In Paradise: Wedding Edition Book 8 By Maryann Jordan


Hot SEALs: Undercover Groom
SEALs in Paradise: Wedding Edition Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

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Nolan (Ringer) Bell is a SEAL, sidelined for a ruptured appendix and on medical leave. Bored at his mom’s house, he agrees to help his sister, a local PI, specializing in financial fraud. The case…suspected money laundering through a wedding chapel with ties to a casino.

His sister partners him with Lynn Cox, another PI, who just happens to be the high school crush he left behind when he joined the SEALs. Their assignment…to have a pretend wedding to get a close up view at what is going on in the chapel and spend their “honeymoon” at the Casino resort.

Ringer’s sweet but meddling mother is the secretary setting up the details. She has always had a soft spot for Lynn and uses their real documents when applying for their “fake marriage license”.

Discovering they are married for real, Ringer and Lynn have to figure out how to get unmarried while still investigating the casino mob’s money laundering scheme. A night gambling and drinking lands Ringer and Lynn in honeymoon suite.

Maybe mom knows best, after all. Or maybe they won’t survive the night.

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What does a healing Navy SEAL do when he’s bored out of his mind? He jumps at the chance to help his sister with one of her PI cases.

Nolan may not have been totally thinking straight when he decides to go along with his sister Nancy’s hairbrained scheme to get the financial information her client needs to prove her husband is hiding money from her.

Lynn Cox is a certified fraud examiner and forensic accountant, she has been Nancy’s best friend for years and even as a teen had a crush on Nolan. When presented with the idea of posing as a bride to get into the office of ‘Cupid of the Mountains’ Wedding Chapel she sort of agrees. However when she finds out who her groom was going to be she was more than a little shocked.

This is a favorite scene.

Throwing up her palm toward Nancy, she halted her litany. “Okay, okay, I get it. Yes, we’ve been sneaky before. But why do I get the feeling that what you’re going to ask me to do is beyond regular subterfuge and possibly involves something more nefarious?”

“Look, it’s not illegal for us to get our hands on the wedding chapel’s financial records. After all, Sally is a co-owner of the business and has a legal right to those records. She’s going to permit us to obtain those records in any way we see fit and then follow the trail of money wherever it leads. Legally, she can do that without her husband’s permission.”

“So, she wants us to get our hands on the records instead of her giving them to us.”

Nodding, Nancy grinned. “Exactly!”

Lynn thought for a moment, pondering the implications. Finally, shrugging, she said, “Well, you’re the PI. You get your hands on the records, and I’ll take a look at them.”

“Um… well, that’s where it gets a little complicated. I can’t exactly sneak in. I’ve done some PI work in the area, and I’m afraid they might recognize me. What I need is someone who can get inside the business to get the records.”

Lynn opened her mouth to argue, but Nancy jumped in, cutting her off.

“I know it sounds weird, but I was hoping you could go in as a potential bride who’s checking out the place, and perhaps, if someone was with you who could keep an eye out, then you’d be able to grab a copy of the records. Sally claims everything’s kept on his computer in the office.”

Air left her lungs as she exhaled, but she forgot to inhale again. Finally, sucking in a deep breath, she tried to clear her mind. “Nancy, this is the most harebrained scheme you’ve ever come up with, and you’ve come up with some doozies before!”

“It can work. You’ve told me yourself that it’s easy to get financial records off the computer and only takes a few minutes.”

“Yes, but I don’t know anything about how to get into a place unseen and undetected! That’s not legal! I’m not going to lose my accounting license so she can get her husband’s ill-gotten gains!”

“Sally is giving us legal permission to go into the business and get the financial records. Plus, it will be virtually no risk because I’ll pair you with someone who will handle doing everything needed except for you getting the records. He’ll figure out what to do. Plan everything. They’ll make sure you get in and out with no problem.”

“Girl, this sounds like you’ve created a recipe for disaster.”

Shaking her head, she said, “No, actually, this is going to be a mission planned to precision.”

“So, I’m supposed to go in and pretend to be a bride?”

“Yes, and the person you go in with will be your pretend groom. You look around, you get the lay of the land, and then he’ll figure out how to get you into the office to obtain the records.”

“And if we get discovered and they call the police?”

“Believe me, the person who’s going to help you would not be involved in anything illegal. Remember, Sally is a co-owner of the business and is giving you written permission to go in. Granted, she’s not telling her husband ahead of time, but she’s still permitting you to get those records. Plus, let me just add that Sally Hightower is willing to pay a huge sum for us to do this. She knows her husband is probably making millions, and she is more than willing to make sure we’re well compensated for helping her get her due.”

That gave Lynn pause. Her business was certainly doing well, but it was sporadic, and she was still paying student loans while saving for a house. Nibbling on her bottom lip, she thought how nice a fat paycheck would be. Sighing, she finally nodded. “As long as it’s not illegal, and I’ll have written authorization from Sally that says I can get the records just in case we get caught and someone tries to get me arrested, I guess I can do it—”

“Yay!” The cheer from the doorway caused both Nancy and Linda to jump as Rita popped into the room, her hands clapping and her face bright with excitement. “I’m so glad you said yes! I think this is going to be perfect!”

Uncertain why Rita would be so excited for her to take on this scheme, Lynn shot her gaze over to Nancy.

“Mom, you’re a little premature. I haven’t finished letting Lynn know the whole plan.”

Lynn swung her gaze between Rita’s beaming face and Nancy’s tight smile. “Um… the whole plan? Who’s going to go in with me?”

The buzzer from the front door rang. “Mom? Nancy? Are you guys back here?”

The deep voice coming from the front of the office echoed down the hall, causing Lynn’s stomach to plunge. Oh, no! No way!

“Back here, dear!” Rita called out. She beamed toward Lynn as she stepped to the side and Nolan’s presence filled the doorway, his gaze landing on hers.

Nancy, her gaze cautious, piped up from behind her desk. “Lynn, meet your undercover groom.”
Jordan, Maryann. Hot SEAL, Undercover Groom (SEALs in Paradise) (pp. 26-29). Kindle Edition.

What Nolan has never admitted is that if Lynn had been older he wouldn’t have been upset by her kiss all those years ago. Now faced with spending time with her, he finds himself enjoying her company.

Their plan goes a bit awry but they do manage to get the information the client needs. The honeymoon at the casino has it’s own surprises and twists as well.

Suspense, intrigue, a bit of action and sizzling heat will keep you turning the pages.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Maryann Jordan

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.

Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.

My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!

I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.

When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me!


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Don’t Miss This!!! Danger and Desire – A Romantic Suspense Anthology: Available ONLY Until Sept 25!


Danger and Desire
A Romantic Suspense Anthology

Featuring
USA Today Bestselling Authors

The Rookie by Kimberly Kincaid
Night Owl by Rachel Grant
Desire in DC by Cat Johnson
Levi: A Lighthouse Security Novella by Maryann Jordan
The Guardian by Cristin Harber
Scout by Janie Crouch
Lawson and Jill: A Night Storm Legacy Novel by Caitlyn O’Leary
Breaking Away: A Delta Force Novella by Elle James

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The Rookie
The Intelligence Unit
USA Today Bestselling Author
Kimberly Kincaid

Police recruit Xander Matthews has two goals: to keep his head down and his dark and dangerous past where it belongs–behind him. He never thought he’d see brash, beautiful ADA Tara Kingston again. But now they must catch a brutal killer before it’s too late.

When ADA Tara Kingston’s primary witness is attacked and threatened in her home, she doesn’t want to testify anymore. She’s scared and isn’t trusting anyone not even Tara.

It’s Xander who comes to the rescue with he calming personality and a background that would be able to win her back on track.

This is a favorite scene.

The half-shout was enough to snare Dr. Riley’s attention. “Okay, that’s enough. Either we get a whole lot more chill about this or interview time is over.”

Tara battled the panic starting to rise in her chest. Amour wouldn’t be safe unless they got this guy and Sansone— who had surely hired or bribed this guy to scare her— behind bars, permanently, and without Amour’s cooperation, they were screwed. She had to do something, God, anything, to get her to talk. “Amour—”

“It’s pretty scary, isn’t it?”

Xander’s voice slipped through the tension in the room, surprising the hell out of Tara.

Amour, too, if the look on her face was anything to go by. “What?”

“I said, it’s pretty scary, being threatened like you were tonight.” He stepped a little further out of the shadows, but still didn’t come close to Amour’s personal space, as if he wanted to give her literal room to breathe.

She eyed him with tough disdain. “What do you know about it? You’re a fucking cop.”

“I’m also a Northie, born and raised. And I know exactly what you’re feeling, because two years ago, I was in the same situation.”

Amour eyed him with a solid dose of mistrust, but enough curiosity flickered through her stare that no one intervened. “You’re a Northie?”

“Lived on The Hill for most of my life. Sullivan Street,” he added, and Amour’s brows lifted.

“In that apartment building by the park?”

“Where all the junkies hang out at night,” Xander confirmed. “And the pawn shop on the corner, by Old Lou’s market.”

Amour remained wary, but she kept talking. “I know it. Old Lou’s not bad.”

“He used to give me and my sister milk on the expiration day when we were tight on money. He’s a good guy. Mean as a snake if you mess with his candy displays, though.”

“So, what happened to you?” Amour asked, and Tara had to admit her curiosity was burning through her, too.

Xander said, “I got jammed up with someone I shouldn’t have— you know how it is. You’ve gotta make a living, and you can’t look sideways in North Point without your eyes landing on someone with crappy intentions.”

Amour huffed out a laugh, although it carried very little joy. “Yeah. I don’t exactly love wearing a leather bustier and getting groped for shitty tips, but…”

She shrugged off the rest, and Xander filled in the blanks all too smoothly. “You don’t exactly have great options. So, you keep your head down and try to make things work. But then a guy like Ricky Sansone comes along, doing all sorts of nasty stuff to people, and the next thing you know, you’re in over your head.”

Isabella and Garza seemed all too happy to let Xander go with the lead he’d so smoothly taken, and Tara watched, half-mesmerized, as Amour nodded.

“He was hurting people, putting guns on the street. North Point is bad enough, you know? Most of us have enough shit to worry about without having to dodge bullets, so when I saw the chance to put him away…”

She broke off. Xander’s expression never wavered, as if he had nothing in the world more important to do than sit there and wait until she was ready to keep going.

And she did. “But I was supposed to be safe. I didn’t sign on for this.” She waved a hand around the exam room. Xander took a careful step forward until he was right beside the gurney, never dropping eye contact with her.

“Believe me, I get it. I have the scars to prove it, too.” Rolling up his right uniform sleeve, he revealed a two-inch burn scar that made Tara’s heart race. “I was scared out of my head the whole time.”

“But you got out,” Amour said, with just enough curiosity for Xander to take the opening she’d given him.

“I did, but in order to make it work, I had to do something that scared me almost more than the person who did this to me. I had to be honest with these guys.” He hooked a thumb over his shoulder in Isabella and Garza’s direction. “Look, none of us can tell you what to do. What you say or don’t say in this interview is entirely up to you. But I can tell you this. Telling these detectives the truth saved my life, and I know that if you’re honest with them, they’ll do everything in their power to save yours.”

The silence that stretched through the exam room felt like it lasted for a month before Amour broke it with, “Would… would you help them keep me safe for real? If I wanted to talk, I mean.”

Tara’s chest tightened with hope, and it took every single shred of her self-control not to interject.

“These detectives are the real pros, Amour,” Xander said, looking at Garza and Isabella with a nod. “But if I can help them in any way, I will.”

“I’m here, too.” Tara squeezed Amour’s hand. “I promise.”

Letting out a slow breath, Amour said, “Okay. I’ll tell you everything.”
Kimberly Kincaid. Danger and Desire (Kindle Locations 597-637).

It’s also Xander who remembers an open apartment in his building that would be perfect to keep Amour safe.

Tara is more than a little impressed with Xander in more ways than one. As this story continues and the trial gets closer, so do Tara and Xander.

Plenty of suspense, intrigue and some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Kimberly!


Night Owl
A Raptor Novella
USA Today Bestselling Author
Rachel Grant

Jenna O’Donnell wants only three things: to live in Tamarack, Alaska for the rest of her life; for Ted Godfrey to fall into a glacial crevasse; and Brad Fraser.
Brad Fraser wants only three things: to leave Tamarack, Alaska and never return; for his coworker, Ted Godfrey, to be fired; and to never, ever fall in love.
But Brad tempts fate when he takes Jenna out for a night of owl watching, and once he spends time alone with her, his carefully planned escape from both frigid north and fiery waitress is no longer simple…

For three years, Jenna has been lusting after Brad, he however has shown no interest whatsoever. Then some well meaning friends set it up so he needs a ride back to the compound. Of course the only one available to give him the ride is Jenna.

The first Brad discovers about Jenna is her love of Owls, her car dash is covered in them. Something causes him to offer to show her the great horned owl’s nest near the compound.

This is a favorite scene.

“I don’t collect them so much as they come to me. People see owls, and they think of me. It’s kind of sweet, and I love the artistry.” She slowed as they passed a moose snacking on leaves by the side of the road. “But to answer your question, since I was a kid. I love hiking in the woods and hearing them call, seeing them perched as they’re looking for prey. Owls make me happy.”

It was such a simple statement, yet it said a lot about her, about her love for Tamarack. That she could find joy here, even though the town was small and remote and it was a two-hour-plus drive to the nearest full-service grocery store.

“There’s a great horned owl nest with three nestlings on Raptor land. I could take you to it.”

Her fingers tightened on the steering wheel. “Really? Won’t you get in trouble for that?”

“Nah. It’s not in the fenced area and far outside of where we run training ops— we can’t do anything in the area because it’s protected. It used to be an eagle’s nest, but this winter, it was taken over by a mated pair of owls.”

“Great horned owls do that— make use of other raptors’ nests.”

“Do you want to see it?”

“I’d love to.”

“Stay on the highway, then— pass the main gate and keep going. The road into the woods is about a mile past the turn to the gate.”

“You mean, right now?”

He shrugged. “Sure. Why not? Plenty of light and…” He let out a small laugh, his gaze on the birds on the dashboard. “I’m something of a night owl anyway. Plus, I’ve got tomorrow off. How about you? You working the lunch shift?”

“No. Evening.” She took her gaze off the road and met his briefly. “You’re sure?”

“Yeah. Let’s do it.” He absolutely wanted to see her face when she spotted the nestlings. Owls made her happy. He wanted to be part of that.

It took another fifteen minutes to get to the point where they had to leave her car and hike in. Fortunately, the road was well maintained, and her car could handle it even with the low clearance.

It was after midnight by the time they were getting out of the car. “I’ve got supplies in the back.” She walked around the hatchback and raised it, revealing a small daypack, extra clothes, hiking boots, water bottles, first aid kit, and blankets. She sat on the bumper and changed out of her soft sneakers for the rugged day hikers. She then donned a fleece sweatshirt and pulled her jacket on again.

“The wind is really whipping up. You going to be warm enough?” she asked him as she plucked a pair of small binoculars from the pack and slipped them into her jacket pocket, then stuffed a blanket and water bottle inside the main compartment.

“I’ll be fine. My coat is lined with wool, and the nest isn’t far.” He slung her pack on his back, and they entered the woods.

Even with the thin canopy, there was no need for flashlights to see their path on the uneven ground. Like the road, the trail was maintained and wide enough for them to walk side by side. He resisted the urge to take her hand in his, even though it tugged at him like it was the most natural thing in the world to be hiking after midnight with Jenna O’Donnell, the most beautiful woman within a thousand miles. Scratch that. Anywhere. Ever.

The path narrowed, and instead of dropping behind, he moved closer to her side, getting a whiff of her shampoo even as his senses should be overwhelmed with the scent of damp earth and leaves. The mossy ground was soft beneath their feet, and they barely made a sound as they walked.

The wind brought a repeated hooting call, and Jenna stopped with a gasp, her hand grabbing his. And just that easy, they were holding hands as she looked up at him with sheer pleasure on her face. “That’s him. That’s the male territorial hoot.”

The sound was followed by another, higher-pitched trill.

“And that’s her.”

The male hooted again, and she pulled on his hand, her excitement making her take the lead. He held on, picking up his pace as they hurried down the path. She came to an abrupt stop as they reached the clearing, and momentum had his body bumping into hers. He released her hand and wrapped his arms around her waist to keep her from pitching forward.

She settled against him and, like holding hands, having her in his arms like this felt like the most natural thing in the world.

“Where is it?” she asked as she pulled the binoculars from her pocket and held them to her eyes.

He released her waist with one hand and placed it over hers on the binocs, gently redirecting her line of sight to the big nest high in a tree on the far side of the meadow.

She gasped. “Oh my God! I see the owlets. They’re so perfect. Probably six to eight weeks old already.”

Brad released her hand and settled his arm around her again.

“Mom’s in the nest with the owlets. Dad must be out hunting.” She lowered the binocs and tilted her head back to gaze up at him. “Do you want to look?”

No. What he wanted was to kiss her as he held her just like this. To bury his face in her neck. He wore jeans and a stiff tin-cloth coat, but even so, with her rear pressed to his front as it was, she was bound to notice his growing erection. He saw the moment she registered his arousal. She let out a soft gasp, and her eyes went hot. She pressed back, rubbing against him even as his arms tightened, holding her in this exquisite position.
Rachel Grant. Danger and Desire (Kindle Locations 1973-2016).

What is meant to be one night, has Brad wanting more time with Jenna. To this end he starts leaving owl related things near her station at the bar.

Although Brad is planning on leaving, he can’t do that until he figures out a way to get rid of Godfrey. He’s up to something and with Jenna’s friend Isabel putting pressure on Raptor’s administration to close it’s doors, the man is getting more unstable.

Plenty of suspense as this story unfolds, and the relationship between Brad and Jenna becomes even more explosive.

5 Contented Purrs for Rachel!


Desire In DC
A Hot SEALs Series Origin Story
USA Today Bestselling Author
Cat Johnson

They couldn’t be more different, but sometimes opposites attract so strongly, there’s nothing that can keep two people apart. Not even a deadly terrorist hijacking . . .

I was a teenager in the 70’s so I remember the things in this story that may make younger folks scratch their heads in confusion. There were no cell phones or computers or internet. If you read Cat’s Hot SEALs you’ll know Zane Alexander’s wife Melissa. This is her parents story.

Marty meets Peter at a bar and as they talk he mentions the senator he works for. That was then end for her, angry and appalled he could work for someone with no moral code.

She was more than surprise to see him at the Greenpeace rally. Peter had tried to tell her his politics and his bosses weren’t the same, but she wasn’t going to listen at the bar. Now she does and she’s more than a little impressed that his roommate is one of the main speakers.

This is a favorite scene as the peaceful rally erupts into violence and chaos, with Peter taking charge to get them away safely.

A Vanderbilt. Jesus.

Looking at her more closely, there was no doubt in his mind the name wasn’t a coincidence. That she was indeed from the Vanderbilt family. As in the robber baron, old money, mansions in every state Gilded Age Vanderbilts.

Her dress probably cost as much as his rent. Her shoes . . . he glanced down and yup, they looked pretty pricey too.

He must be losing his mind pursuing a woman so out of his league.

More than her wealth, he was definitely certifiable for thinking this staunchly left-wing Democrat would ever accept his conservative leanings, even if he did try to consider and understand all sides and opinions when it came to politics.

It wasn’t in his nature to blindly follow any leader or party. He wished she would see that about him. That he carefully weighed the issues, making up his mind on a case-by-case basis.

A squeal of a microphone broke Peter out of his fanciful imaginings about the lovely though contrary Marty Vanderbilt.

He turned toward the speakers just as the crack of glass breaking had his head whipping back around. The burst of flames he saw on the square’s flagstone plaza explained the sound.

“What was that?” Marty asked, barely audible over the shrieks of the scattering crowd.

He spun back to answer her. “Molotov cocktail.”

She shook her head, mouth agape. “Here? Why?”

“I don’t know.” It made no sense to him except for that they lived in volatile times.

He heard sirens in the distance. The police were already on the way. That didn’t prevent a second projectile from crashing into flames next to the fountain.

Shocked screams turned into panic as the attendees clamored to get out of the main entrance of the park.

Slower movers got shoved out of the way by those desperate to flee the danger zone. The few who fell were trampled.

The reaction of the crowd was becoming more of a danger than the homemade incendiary devices.

“We have to get out of here.” He grabbed her arm, feeling the need to protect her.

Marty pulled against him. “Where’s Clark? My photographer.”

Peter looked around and finally spotted the young man, working his way against the crowd toward them. “There he is.”

And he was obviously hurt, judging by the blood. He staggered while clutching his camera to his chest.

Peter moved to meet him where he was and looped a hand beneath his arm. “You need that cut taken care of.”

“I fell,” he said simply, sounding as dazed as he looked.

Clark reached up and touched the blood running down the side of his face. He looked down at the red wetting his fingers as if noticing for the first time he was injured.

He was definitely stunned. Disoriented. Peter couldn’t blame him. Chaos still reigned around them. He needed to get them all out of there.

Pulling his handkerchief out of his pocket, he pressed it to Clark’s head then placed the man’s own hand over it. “Hold that there.”

Clark nodded, still looking confused but he did as told. That was good enough.

Peter glanced at Marty. He saw the crazed look in her eyes as her gaze darted around them, taking in all the insanity.

Fist fights had broken out among the crowd. He wouldn’t put it past her to jump right into the fray, whether for the story or for the principal of the cause. It wouldn’t matter. She’d be in danger either way.

“Come on. This way.” Peter didn’t wait for an answer to what had never been a question.

It was no doubt time to go. Before the police started rounding everyone up and they all ended up sitting in a cell for the night. Or worse, beaten or gassed.

During these times, the authorities tended to act first and ask questions later.

With one hand grabbing each of their arms, he half steered, half tugged Marty and Clark out of the smaller back exit of the park.

Head down, he navigated them through the people running both ways. Some towards the action. Others away from it.

One man, who had to be high on some illegal substance from the looks of him, came at them, fist drawn back as if he was about to deliver a punch backed by the full force of his weight.

Peter didn’t know how this peaceful rally had turned to this, but he did know how to defend himself. He stepped forward toward the man, raised his elbow and brought it down full force on the man’s nose.

He heard the horrifying sound of cracking bone— the other guy’s, not his own. The man screamed in pain, clutching his nose as the blood flowed.

His stomach turned. But now was not the time to be squeamish.

He looked behind him and located Marty. She was holding Clark’s arm, steadying the man who looked like he was having trouble staying on his feet. How hard a hit had he taken to the head anyway?

“My apartment isn’t too far. Follow me.” Reaching out, he grabbed her hand.

“What about your roommate?” she asked, glancing backward as he dragged her toward the sidewalk, Clark stumbling behind her.

“Elijah? I saw him get out through the front gate. I’m hoping to find him at the apartment when we get there.”
Cat Johnson. Danger and Desire (Kindle Locations 3239-3282).

This is the beginning of their relationship, that quickly heats up. However it’s while she’s on vacation that Peter realizes just how much he cares about her.

The becomes even more apparent when her flight home is hijacked.

Marty finds herself just hoping to make it home alive, to tell Peter she how she feels about him. I love that Peter finds a way to monitor the situation up close and personal. Also using his contacts to see her before her parents can take her away.

A wonderful throw back story with everything on point.

5 Contented Purrs for Cat!


Levi
Lighthouse Security Investigations
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

Heading from Wyoming to Maine to take on his new position with Lighthouse Security Investigations, Levi was ready to get off the highway and take the backroads. Offering to help a stranded woman seemed like a good idea until he discovered the secrets she was hiding. With the help of the LSI Keepers, can Levi untangle Claire’s problems in time to save her life?

Levi is traveling slowly from Wyoming to Maine. He’s taking in some sights along the way as well. He happens to come across a vehicle off the road and a woman standing nearby.

After a delightful drive and dinner, Levi is considering driving Clare to her destination. He has to pass by Boston anyway. Before he totally commits himself he has LHS run a check on her. The results are disturbing and he decides he’s not taking her any further. That changes when he approaches her hotel room.

This is a favorite scene.

A sigh of air rushed from her lungs and the weight on her shoulders seemed to intensify. “I thought I had another day to take one last look at things before Mr. Martins came back. But he showed up at work, made a beeline into my tiny office, and, with a big smile on his face, thanked me for assisting but told me that I was no longer responsible for any of Perry’s accounts. The way he was acting… the way he was staring at me… I knew my suspicions were right. So, I did the only thing I could do at the moment and that was slap a big smile on my face and simply agree.”

Munching on another cracker, she washed it down with water. So far, Levi was listening with little interruption, but she had no idea what he thought of her story. Afraid that his patience might wane and he would decide to drive her straight to a police station, she continued.

“By the end of the day, I was a nervous wreck. I knew something wasn’t right. I knew Mr. Martins, as well as Perry, was involved. I knew it was obvious to Mr. Martins that I’d gone through the accounts. I planned on staying late yesterday, but he showed up at my desk and said that I should take the afternoon off since I’d been pulling double duty with Perry out. I felt like it was a ruse to get me out of the office, but what excuse did I have?”

“What happened next?”

“A stroke of luck.” She watched as Levi’s unflappable demeanor fell away and his head jerked to the side to stare at her. Quickly explaining, she said, “On my way home, I stopped by my bank to get some cash. Imagine my surprise when I looked at my balance and discovered an extra five hundred thousand dollars sitting in my account.”

“Fuck.”

Another snort erupted as she agreed. “My thoughts exactly. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Mr. Martins knew I must’ve looked at everything and he was afraid I’d go to the authorities. Because I have direct deposit with my paycheck, it was not difficult for him to be able to put the money in there.”

“So, you ran.”

“Yes. I ran.”

“What was your plan?”

She lifted her shoulders in a little shrug and shook her head. “All I wanted to do was get away. I had no idea what Mr. Martins’ plans were for me. Call the police and claim that I had embezzled? Maybe keep me under his thumb with the threat hanging over my head? For all I knew that’s what had happened to Perry. So, I got home, packed everything I could into my car, and hit the road yesterday morning. I thought if I could disappear for a little while until I had a chance to figure things out, I’d be safe.”

Levi was quiet for another moment, and Claire decided she was too exhausted to keep talking. She let the silence move around them, finding her eyelids growing heavy.

“If everything you’re telling me is true, why was that man in your room this morning, threatening you?”

Rolling her head to the side, she once more stared at Levi. If men were described in romance novels as tall, dark, and handsome, she’d never truly understood that description until she laid eyes on him. A woman alone with a disabled vehicle should have been very afraid, but fear was not what she felt. If the truth was known, a bolt of lust hit her as he approached. But, with his hands held out in plain sight, his past as an FBI agent, and his offer to help, she tamped down her lust and focused on the warm ease that moved through her at being rescued. With everything that had happened, she hadn’t even thanked Levi for saving her.

Sighing her millionth sigh that morning, she replied, “I have a copy of all Perry’s dealings. I know that I should never have taken client account information out of the office, but as soon as I discovered discrepancies, I wanted backup. Mr. Martins must have discovered that I have the records. That’s why he didn’t call the authorities and try to blame the embezzlement on me. Instead, he sent someone after me.”

Turning to face him more fully, she added, “I’m ashamed that I didn’t even thank you for what you did this morning. But it’s now hitting me… you placed yourself in danger. I think the best thing you can do is to pull off at the next exit and let me out. Right now, Levi, you’re in danger because of me.”

“Did you get all of that?” he asked.

Looking at him sharply, she had no idea what he was asking her. Before she had a chance to say anything, a male voice coming from his phone replied.

“Got it. Checking out her story now.”

She gasped, opening her mouth then snapping it closed as her gaze dropped to his phone as though she would be able to see who now knew her secrets. Levi obviously had called someone and had them on the line the entire time she was speaking. Her stomach clenched as she wondered who now knew that money was in her account and what they were going to do with that information. Her hands began to shake, a combination of anger and nerves, and her heart pounded a drumbeat so loud it was all she could hear.

“Claire. Claire!”

Hearing her name, her body jolted. “What?”

“You went pale, and I wasn’t sure you were breathing. Don’t pass out on me now.”

With everything that had happened, it was ridiculous to be angry at him, and yet anger was the only emotion she could identify. “You didn’t tell me someone was listening.”

“Nope.”

“Why not? I was talking to you, not just anyone. I’m trying to stay safe while figuring all this out, and I don’t even know who was listening to this information—”

I’m the one trying to keep you safe. I’m the one that disarmed that man this morning. I’m the one who needs all the information to figure out what to do. And that started by me finding out what you’re involved in. And if I can trust you.”

She wanted to argue with his words but couldn’t. Everything he said was true. Pinching her lips together, she turned and looked out her window. She had not been paying attention to the highway signs and had no idea how far they had driven. Doubt slowly wormed its way into her mind as she realized she had no idea who Levi truly was. Maybe he just wanted—

“Don’t go there. I can tell that right now you’re doubting everything you’ve told me. But, Claire, if what you told me is the truth, I can help by looking into this mess.”

“It’s true. It’s all true.”

She had no idea what kind of looking into he meant, but, considering it was more than what she had, she was willing to go on a little faith.
Maryann Jordan. Danger and Desire (Kindle Locations 4715-4765).

I love the way Levi and Clare’s relationship becomes entangled in what LHS is now considering a mission. Their leisurely journey now fraught with watching their backs, but they also become closer too.

The closer to Maine they get the hotter this relationship and situation gets.

I love this series so much and I can’t wait to see who’s next to find love.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!


The Guardian
The Aces Series Book 4
USA Today Bestselling Author
Cristin Harper

After a rollercoaster of headline-grabbing family tragedies, Roxana Carter couldn’t have said yes any faster when her perfectly predictable boyfriend proposed marriage. But the arrival of a mysterious gun-wielding couple reveals that Roxana’s steadfast man isn’t who he seems.

Jason wanted nothing more than to marry Roxana and quit his job. Of course he has to ask her first. He does that in style while she teases about their sex life.

This is a favorite scene.

Jason lifted her legs off his, set her feet on the flagstone, and cupped her cheeks before she could pout. The fullness of his lips brushed against hers, not quite a kiss; a taste and a tease of everything she wanted.

“Roxana.” His eyes stayed open, locked on hers as if he couldn’t look away. “You are the perfect woman for me.”

“I know.” She leaned for his kiss and added, “Thought you already knew that, too.”

“I do, babe.” His laughter rolled. “Listen for a second.” His hands slipped off her cheeks and trailed down her neck. Jason took her mouth with a savoring slowness that made her head spin in a honeyed haze.

She explained that it was hard to listen when he didn’t speak, but the velvet slide of his tongue against hers erased the thought. Electricity sparked down her spine as chill bumps rolled over her skin.

“I love you.”

“I know that, too.”

He eased from his chair and kneeled, a rakish grin dangling off his chiseled face. “I met you, and everything changed.”

“Bet the amount of times you ordered delivery dropped,” she teased.

“Yeah, that was a change.” His hands took hers. In their world, Jason’s actions always usurped conversations. Tonight though, his words kept pace. “Amongst other things.”

“Is that fancy accountant talk for crazy-awesome, grade-A sex?” Forget that they’d been interrupted before dinner, his teasing tone and a night of mojitos were a wicked combination. “Speaking of which, we should go to bed.”

Jason licked his lips as if her brilliant idea had been a joke. “In a minute.”

She pulled her hand free and pressed the back of it to his forehead. “Are you dying or something?”

His eyes danced. “Give me your hand, Roxana.”

“Are you going to bring me upstairs and—” She was suddenly, acutely aware that Jason wasn’t just perched in front of her, but on one knee. “Shut up.

His lips twitched. “Marry me, Roxana.”

Roxana slapped a hand over the wild, joyful scream that pealed from lungs, and covered his for good measure. Jason belly laughed into her hand. She didn’t know what else to do except launch into his arms.

Like a stud, Jason caught her superhero style and flipped over to rest in the crook of his arm. “Babe?”

“I graded our sex life while you were trying to propose.”

“Guess that’s how it goes when it’s grade-A?” He winked. “Anything else to say?”

Her arms wrapped around his neck as if they had a mind of their own. “As if you don’t know my answer.”

“Still gotta say it.” His mouth dropped to her ear. “I love you, Roxana. Marry me.”

“Yes.” She melted. “Of course, I will. You’re the kindest, strongest man I’ve ever met.” Roxana kissed his cheek. “Now, will you bring me upstairs?”
Cristin Harber. Danger and Desire (Kindle Locations 5484-5507).

Now that she’s said yes, it’s on to the next part. Quitting his job. He thought it would be easy but it turns out there’s something going on with his boss.

He thought he could get away with never telling Roxana what he really does for a living. That rapidly changes as he scrambles for his life and hers.

Full of suspense, intrigue, and sizzle. You won’t be able to put this one down.

5 Contented Purrs for Cristin!


Scout
USA Today Bestselling Author
Janie Crouch

Linear Tactical’s Wyatt Highfield is running for his life with intel that will break up a human trafficking ring. The last thing he wants is to bring danger to Nadine Macfarlane’s door. The gentle beauty has been through enough, and has the scars—physical and emotional—to prove it. But she’s his only option.

Wyatt is on the run, he has to get the drive he’d gotten from his informant to Linear’s computer guy. First he has to lose they guys chasing him.

While he really didn’t want to use her, he knew Nadine would be at this market. They were looking for a single guy not a couple. This could work.

Wyatt spends the afternoon and evening with Nadine. He’s falling for her but everything has to wait until there’s no more threat. The real fun begins when Nadine takes him to a hotel. One he’s really not staying in.

This is a favorite scene.

There was definitely something wrong with him. She’d never seen him fight but he was a trained Special Forces soldier— there was no way this was how he normally fought.

And the other guy was taking advantage of it. He punched Wyatt square in the gut, making him double over.

And when he did, when his line of vision was closer to the floor, Wyatt caught sight of Nadine creeping up the stairs.

“No,” he grunted through clenched teeth. “Run.”

No way that was happening.

The attacker spun around, but she had her pepper spray raised. He threw his hands up to protect himself, but it was too late. She damn near emptied the whole can in his face.

When the guy staggered back, she took a swing at him— straight into the nose with her palm like she’d been taught in the self-defense classes Chloe had talked her into taking. She shuddered at the feel of his nose breaking under her hand and blood pouring out everywhere.

That part hadn’t been covered in class.

He howled as he fell to the ground while Wyatt remained slumped against the stairs. She needed to get them out of there before broken-nose guy’s buddies showed up from the lobby.

“Come on.” She took him under the arms and hauled him up until he was on his feet. Finally, something good came out of her size and strength. A petite little thing couldn’t have managed that.

“You’ve got to get away.” He coughed a few times from the pepper spray, groaning when he did. He sounded disoriented. Nothing like the man who’d left her car less than ten minutes ago.

“Not without you.” She had no idea what was happening, why there were people after him. All she knew was that he was in trouble and there was no abandoning him now. “Come on. Lean on me. We’ll get you down the stairs.”

But his feet didn’t seem to want to obey. She practically dragged him down the stairs, one lurching step at a time with her shoulder tucked into his armpit. “Gotta… get away… safe…” His words became less recognizable with each step.

“I’m going to get us both away if you would just walk, damn it. Help me, please.” He seemed to try to move his feet, to bear his weight. It was better than nothing, anyway.

They reached the big, metal door at the bottom of the stairwell which led outside. She pushed her way through and pulled Wyatt along with her. They were behind the hotel now, next to a row of dumpsters.

“I’ve got to get you to a doctor. A hospital. You’re hurt. Poisoned or something.”

“No. No.” He pulled her to a stop. “No doctor. No hospital.”

“Wyatt, you need help.”

He shook his head. “Drugged,” he slurred. “Wear off.”

“Drugged? By who?” She started them toward her car again. The people from the lobby were going to be looking for them soon

“I need…” His head started to droop. His legs began to buckle, dragging her down.

“No way. Wyatt, come on.” She propped him against the wall and slapped his cheek, wincing, knowing he’d taken punches to his face.

His eyes opened. “What? What?” He sounded angry— not that she minded. As long as he was awake.

“Stay with me.” She started walking them again. She wouldn’t have very long before he got pulled under. “Finish what you were trying to tell me. You said you have to get away from here, and you need something. What do you need?”

“Hide. Hide. Sleep.” It sounded like every word was a struggle.

“Hide from who?” He shook his head slightly and they stumbled a few more steps. She kept them away from the windows in the lobby. “Didn’t. Want. Tell you.”

She didn’t know what he was talking about. “Let’s just get you to the car.”

“Can’t. I…” His legs threatened to buckle again. “Leave me.”

“Wyatt, come on. We need to hurry. There are men in the lobby who are going to come after you.”

“Not. Safe.” He stopped moving again. “You. Go.”

Damn it. She needed another tactic. “Those guys in the lobby are going to get me if you don’t get to my car, Wyatt. The only way for me to get out of here is for you to get to my car.”

Her risk paid off. She could almost see the super-human effort he made to focus. To command his body to do what he was telling it to do.

Because he wanted to protect her.

“Let’s go.” It was the clearest words she’d heard from him yet.

He still needed help, but at least he was making an effort. They moved slowly across the parking lot toward her car. She practically shoved him inside the back seat, bending his legs and picking up his feet to tuck them in with him.

She ran around to the driver’s side and started the car. “Where, Wyatt? Should I take you somewhere? Drive you to Wyoming?”

He shook his head. “Your house.”

Then his head dropped to the seat.
Janie Crouch. Danger and Desire (Kindle Locations 7166-7207).

In spite of the fact he doesn’t want Nadine involved, he gets no choice when they torch her house.

A hold your breath tale with plenty of action, suspense and sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Janie!


Lawson and Jill
Night Storm Legacy Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Caitlyn O’Leary

When Marine Raider, Lawson Thorne is goaded into grief counseling by his Navy SEAL brother, he never expected to meet the woman of his dreams. When he and Jill decide to ditch the group and form a group of their own, sparks fly. But what happens when Lawson realizes Jill has been targeted by a madman?

Under pressure from his brother Asher, and also realizing he wasn’t up to par, Lawson decides to go to a local grief group. Before it gets there, he has a bit of a run in with a child escaping art class. While this was definitely amusing it’s actually when he sees Jill for the first time, well the back of her anyway.

Inside the group he sits next to her to listen to people talk, while Jill gives him a narrative. In thanks he asks her to coffee and she agrees.

This is a favorite scene.

The teenage hostess sat them in a booth near the back and had coffee in front of them before they could ask.

“I love it when I immediately get coffee,” Jill said as she poured in a little cream.

“Do you want anything more than coffee and dessert?” Law asked. “They’re still serving dinner.” He nodded to some of the other diners.

“No, I’m good. I had something before the session. Yoga was next on my plans, and if I’d gone like usual, I’d have eaten a protein bar in my car.”

Law grimaced.

“What, you have something against protein bars?” her eyes twinkled.

“I like real food when I can get it. There are plenty of times I’m stuck eating bars and stuff, but whenever I’m in a spot that I can get real food, that’s my go-to, unless I’m in a real pinch.”

“Do you cook?” She took a delicate sip of coffee. She had great lips. He also liked the fact that she asked if he cooked. A lot of women just assumed because he was a Marine he couldn’t or wouldn’t.

“Yep. My mother wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s great in the kitchen. She taught all of her boys how to cook.”

“How many of you are there?” “There were three of us. Asher, Xavier, and me. I’m the baby of the family.”

“Were?” she asked gently.

“We lost Xavier a year ago.”

“I’m so sorry,” she said sincerely. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Law set down his mug of coffee. He considered how to explain. But she must have seen something in his eyes.

Jill gave a wry grin. “That was stupid. If you’d wanted to talk, you would have about an hour ago.”

“Shit, I don’t know what I was doing there. It was kind of a last-ditch effort. I’m blaming it squarely on Ash’s head, and that asshole is going to hear about it, mark my words.” Law gave a feral grin at the thought of what he’d say to his brother.

Jill put her elbow on the table and propped her chin on her fist. “So, you’re going to tell your brother about going to the Grief Session? I’m impressed. I thought that would go against the macho code or something.”

“Marine code,” he smiled. “Not macho code, Marine code.”

“Isn’t that the same thing?”

“Bite your tongue. Marines are in a class of their own.”

Before Jill could flip him more guff, the middle-aged waitress appeared.

“What can I get you two?” she asked gruffly. Law felt for her, it looked like she’d put in a long day. Before he could say anything, Jill gave her a big grin.

“How are you doing? I love your nails.” Just that little question and compliment put a smile on the woman’s face. Jill had nice instincts when dealing with people. He liked it.

“Thanks. It’s a new color my daughter talked me into. What can I get for you two kids?”

“Do you feel like surprising me, or would you prefer I choose?” Jill asked.

“Do you like creamy or tart?” The waitress was clearly getting into the game. “Creamy.”

“I’ve got you covered.” She turned to Law. “How about you? Want me to set you up, or do you have your heart set on something?”

“I’m with Jill; I trust your judgment. I’m in the mood for pie.”

“Well, you came to the right place. Are you out of Camp Pendleton?”

Law nodded.

“You had the look. It was either that or we get some of the guys from San Diego. I’ll bring it out to you and top off your coffee.” She left with a spring in her step that wasn’t there before.

“So, do you live at Camp Pendleton?”

“I’m too old for that. I have a house off base. What about you, where do you call home?”

He watched as Jill’s face clouded. “I inherited a house in Laguna Niguel from my cousin less than a year ago.”

“Now it’s my turn to ask, do you want to talk about it?”

“To tell you the truth, I’m kind of talked out,” she said as she took another sip of her coffee. Headlights flashed from outside through the diner window and glinted on her hair. The shiny black strands looked rich and silky and he wondered how they would feel running through his fingers. It took a moment for him to catch onto what she was saying.

“I’ve gone to the group sessions on and off for five months. I talked a little, but mostly just listened. I took a job transfer out here so I could move in with Lorraine and be with her while she needed me. After she passed, I realized that besides the people at work, I didn’t know anyone but Lorraine, so I thought the grief counseling sessions might help me as well as let me meet some folks who would be on the same page.”

“How’d that work out?”

“After the first three months, I’d pretty much come to the conclusion it’s not my thing. What about you? I saw you on the stairs with that boy Kevin from the art class. He’s always making a run for it.”

Law chuckled. “His name is Kenny. He’s a hoot. I swear, he almost had me convinced to go to his mother for comfort. He was telling me how unloading on her always made him feel better, and he offered her services to me.”

Jill let out a shout of laughter, then immediately covered her mouth and looked around to see if anyone else had heard.

“Oh. My. God. That’s priceless. I want him to come to the next Grief Session. He’d be perfect. But I’m not sure that I’m going again.” Jill sighed.
Caitlyn O’Leary. Danger and Desire (Kindle Locations 8321-8366).

Law’s relationship with Jill is a slow build with plenty of laughter. There is however some strange goings on at Jill’s.

A strange man inquiring about the number of people for a gathering on Labor day, a gathering that’s not actually planned. Then there’s a call from Leslie, the grief counselor, where she’s given Jill’s name and number to a former group member’s husband. To top that off, Jill’s house alarm went off while she was away on business.

Law wasn’t happy to find out about those things but he sets some things in motion to find out more.

Plenty of suspense along with laughter, tears and sizzle!

I definitely want more of this Night Storm crew!

5 Contented Purrs for Caitlyn!


Breaking Away
A Delta Force Novella
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

Delta Force Operative navigates dangerous territory when he’s assigned to protect a hotshot war correspondent with a price on her head, who also happens to be the girl who got away.

This book starts out with everyone literally on the run. Kylie is a war journalist and with her cameraman Josh are with a Ranger team. The assignment was to get an informant out of harms way, but everything just went FUBAR. As the Taliban moves in closer to their location they take off running. Garcia the Sergeant assigned to her is wounded and they need a place to hide. The building they choose holds a surprise, the missing informant is hiding there. With no choice, Kylie takes Garcia’s weapon to protect them all.

This is a favorite scene.

The man at the door swung his rifle in Kylie’s direction and fired a burst of bullets, hitting the wall above her head.

Apparently, he hadn’t had the same shoot-don’t-shoot training Kylie had. He was of the philosophy of shoot first, pick through the bodies later.

And he was headed her way.

Kylie trained her sights on him.

The man let loose another burst of bullets.

Kyle winced as debris from the wall rained down on her head.

If he got past her, he’d kill the others. Kylie aimed for his left chest and squeezed the trigger.

One round to the heart, and the man went down.

“Kylie?” Josh’s voice called out. “You all right?”

“I’m good,” she said. More footsteps pounded in the street outside the building heading their way. “But I don’t know for how long.” She sighted her weapon on the open door.

A shadow raced past it, and then a man in black dove through, rolled to his feet and came up shooting.

Most of Kylie’s shooting experience had been with stationary targets. She aimed and fired, but the man moved so fast, Kylie missed her first shot.

The man turned toward her, his AK-47 aimed at her position.

Kylie fired again, hitting him in the chest as he pulled his trigger.

His bullet hit just above her head, showering dust and pieces of wall down on her.

Another man raced through the door with a machinegun and started firing indiscriminately.

Kylie pulled back behind her wall and lay as low to the ground as possible until the man ceased firing.

Then she poked her head and the barrel of her rifle out and fired at the man.

At the last second, he moved, and the bullet hit his arm, but not badly enough to keep him from setting off another burst of gunfire, getting closer to Kylie’s location.

She ducked back and lay flat against the floor

She couldn’t come out long enough to fire again, the man kept shooting short bursts.

Shouts sounded outside, and the sound of men running worried Kylie. She would run out of bullets soon, if she got another chance to fire.

The gunfire ceased, and the clang of metal hitting the floor told her the Taliban shooter was changing magazines.

If she hoped to get this guy, she needed to do it while he was vulnerable, reloading his gun.

Kylie leaned around the corner and aimed her rifle.

The shooter slammed another magazine into the machinegun.

Before he could raise it to fire, Kylie launched a bullet into the man’s heart.

Three men ran through the door, all wearing wearing the same black outfits and the black turbans as the other two Kylie had nailed.

She’d been lucky the first three times. The men had come in separately. How was she going to shoot three in a row?

She aimed, fired and missed the first guy.

The three Taliban men all hit the ground, making it hard for her to aim at them.

Slowly, they moved forward, inching their way toward her.

Kylie’s pulse pounded in her ears. She couldn’t let the fact that there were three against one get inside her head and mess with her. She had to protect Josh, Sergeant Garcia and Faaid. They were depending on her.

One of the men fired at her, hitting so close to her head, she could almost feel the buzz of the bullet zipping past her ear.

She ducked back behind the wall for a moment, dragged in a deep breath and whipped back around the corner, her rifle aiming at the last position of the closest combatant.

He wasn’t there. The Taliban soldier stood over her, his AK-47 pointing down at her face.

Kylie gasped. She didn’t have time to jerk her weapon up to kill the man. As she stared up at the barrel of his gun, her life passed before her eyes. The last few years as a war correspondent, before that, falling in love with the one man she’d almost given up her dreams for. He was her only regret.

Several shots were fired.

Kylie waited for the pain but felt nothing except for a spray of blood across her face. The man standing over her dropped his weapon, and then collapsed, landing on top of Kylie.

His weight crushed the air from her lungs. Kylie fought to get out from beneath him, but he was too heavy. Who had shot him? Was there another enemy in the building? She had to get out from under the man and be prepared to protect her team.

Suddenly, the dead Taliban man flipped over and landed on his back beside Kylie.

She scrambled to bring her weapon up in her hands and aim at the man who’d saved her life, afraid he’d only saved her because he’d wanted the Taliban soldier to die. For all she knew, he’d want her and her team to die as well.

Rolling onto her back, she aimed up at a different man staring down at her. He held up his hands. “Whoa, little lady. You don’t want to shoot your rescuer. It really destroys the whole superhero image.” He winked and smiled. As he stared at her, his smile slipped. “Kylie?”

Those rugged good looks were a little more seasoned, but that voice could not be mistaken. Kylie’s heart stuttered. “Mac?”

“What the hell are you doing out here in enemy territory?” he demanded, his brow descending.

Even though he’d save her life, she bristled. “For the same reason you are.”

“You came out here to shoot Taliban insurgents?” Mac shook his head. “I thought you were a journalist.”

“I am,” she said, pushing to a sitting position. “Things just got away from us. I had it under control.” She looked away.
Elle James. Danger and Desire: A Romantic Suspense Anthology (pp. 724-727). Kindle Edition.

A very brief respite once Mac and his team get them to the extraction point. It doesn’t last very long though.

They need to get Kylie out of the country, she managed to kill one of the Taliban on the most wanted list. The Taliban isn’t going to be happy that he was killed, let alone by a woman. She definitely now has a price on her head. To her the job comes first and she can’t leave without finishing her assignment.

Mac and Kylie have known each other for a very long time, she broke his heart so they could both have the careers they wanted. Now as Mac and his team work on keeping her safe until they can find transport out of the country things heat up between them.

Non-stop action, some laughs and sizzling heat in this war time tale.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Kimberly’s Bio and Links
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet and hot and edgy romantic suspense. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and a 2016 and 2015 RWA RITA® finalist and 2014 Bookseller’s Best nominee who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.

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Rachel Grant’s Bio and Links

USA Today bestselling author Rachel Grant worked for over a decade as a professional archaeologist and mines her experiences for story lines and settings, which are as diverse as excavating a cemetery underneath an historic art museum in San Francisco; surveying an economically depressed coal mining town in Kentucky; and mapping a seventeenth century Spanish and Dutch fort on the island of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles.

In all her travels and adventures as an archaeologist, Rachel has found many sites and artifacts, but she’s only found one true treasure, her husband, David. They met while working together excavating a four thousand year old site about to be destroyed by the expansion of a sewage treatment plant in Seattle. Despite their romantic first meeting, she has no intention of ever setting a story at a sewage treatment plant.

Rachel Grant lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children.

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Cat Johnson’s Bio and Links

Cat Johnson is a top 10 New York Times bestseller and the author of the USA Today bestselling Hot SEALs series. She writes contemporary romance that usually features hot alpha heroes (who often wear combat or cowboy boots) and the sassy heroines brave enough to love them. Known for her unique marketing she has sponsored pro bull riders, owns a collection of camouflage and western wear for book signings, and has used bologna to promote romance novels.


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Maryann Jordan’s Bio and Links

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!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me!
(authormaryannjordan@gmail.com )


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Cristin Harber’s Bio and Links

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author of steamy romantic suspense, military romance, contemporary romance, and new adult books.

Her black ops books are packed with action and adventure and filled with everything she loves to read in romance novels! Sexy second chance romances, teasing tension in older brother’s best friend stories, plus enemies to lover, opposites attract, undercover marriage, forbidden love, and Navy SEAL romances (along with every other branch of military and law enforcement)!

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Janie Crouch’s Bio and Links

USA TODAY bestselling author Janie Crouch writes what she loves to read: passionate romantic suspense. She is a winner and/or finalist of multiple romance literary awards including the Golden Quill Award for Best Romantic Suspense, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the coveted RITA© Award by the Romance Writers of America.

Janie recently relocated with her husband and their four teenagers to Germany (due to her husband’s job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years. When she’s not listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she enjoys engaging in all sorts of crazy adventures (200-mile relay races; Ironman Triathlons, treks to Mt. Everest Base Camp) traveling, and movies of all kinds.

Her favorite quote: “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller.

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Caitlyn O’Leary’s Bio and Links

USA Today Bestselling Author, Caitlyn O’Leary, adores writing Military Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romance. She started publishing books in 2014. Storytelling has been a tradition in her family for years, and she still holds on to the letters she has received from family members since her childhood.

Caitlyn lives in California with her husband John of sixteen years who often makes guest appearances in her reader group, Caitlyn’s Crew. Getting to know so many people within the reader community is almost as much fun as writing each new novel. So join her reader group so she can get to know you, and see if she and John can make it to year seventeen!

You never know what kind of book she’ll write next, it all depends on what strikes her fancy. Be sure to keep in touch.


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Elle James’ Bio and Links

Award-winning author Elle James grew up as an air force military brat. She received her work ethic from her rock-solid father, her creative streak from her artistic mother and inspiration from her writing partner and sister, Delilah Devlin.

As a former member of the army reserves and a current member of the air force reserves, she’s traveled across the United States and to Germany, managed a full-time job, and raised three wonderful children. She and her husband have even tried their hands at ranching exotic birds (ostriches, emus and rheas) in the Texas hill country. Ask her, and she’ll tell you what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with an angry three-hundred-and-fifty-pound bird and live to tell about it!

Her adventures in the army and air force reserves, and the wild antics of her life on a small ranch in Texas give her fodder for mystery, suspense and humor in her writing. Elle writes gothic, paranormal mystery for the Harlequin Intrigue line and paranormal romantic comedy for Dorchester Publishing. A former manager of computer programming and project management professionals, Elle is happy she now has the opportunity to pursue her writing full time.

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Tate – Lighthouse Security Investigations Book 6 by Maryann Jordan


Lighthouse Security Investigations

The Lighthouse SI Keepers were men and women from the SEALs,
Rangers, Special Forces, Deltas, and AF Special Ops.
All having been trained in CIA Special Ops,
the Keepers were the best of the best
and ready to take on any mission.

Tate
Lighthouse Security Investigations Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

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Country music, his parents, cold beer, and apple pie…just a few of the things Frank Tate loves. The former SEAL, now a Lighthouse Security specialist also loves his job and lives for the next mission.

But when a call from home sends him back to the mid-west, the past and present collide as danger follows the girl he left behind years before. Will Tate and his fellow Keepers save her in time to see if she has a place in his future?

Note:
Scenes and language are similar to an R-rated movie…18+ only.

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This book opens in the past at a solemn and difficult funeral for Tate. This day had many implications for Tate, even as he said his final good-bye to his friend Nathan, his thoughts were on Nora, Nathan’s sister and his girlfriend. As they lose themselves in each other trying to escape the pain of loss, Tate makes a decision that would change their future together.

Now ten years later, Tate is out of the military and working for Lighthouse Security. He likes the opportunity to accept or refuse a mission and it also gives him the freedom to visit home. This visit is for his mother’s birthday, but would turn into more.

He hasn’t talked to Nora in years and when he’s home she avoids him. A conversation he overhears his sister having brings back the memories and the reasons he had for breaking up with her. He only sees Nora at a distance on this visit but it brings up so many emotions and things that just aren’t valid anymore.

The next time he flies home, his father is in the hospital and it turns out Nora is his nurse. He needs to talk to her, they should be able to talk after all these years.

This is a favorite scene.

The hospital was new, and while small, it offered an excellent cafeteria. Choosing her food, she opted for a quiet booth in the corner. Sliding as far as she could go, wanting a few quiet moments to herself, she pulled out her phone to continue reading the latest e-book she had downloaded.

A tray suddenly plopped onto the table next to hers, and she jumped in surprise. Her gaze jerked up just as a large body settled next to hers, effectively trapping her in the booth. Her breath heaved as she stared agog when Tate offered her a wide smile.

“Wh… what are you doing?”

“What a coincidence, finding you having lunch at the same time I was hungry. And in a nice little corner booth where we can chat, won’t be disturbed, and you can’t escape.”

“You can’t just sit here like this and trap me in the booth! Are you crazy?”

“Nora, I’ve been called many things in my life. Probably most of them I deserved. But so far, crazy is not one of them.”

She opened her mouth to argue, but he continued talking, his voice now softer. “Nora, you avoid me every time I visit, and I get it, I really do. I’d just love to have a chance to talk.”

She made the mistake of twisting slightly in her seat and now faced him fully as he turned her way. His eyes drew her in, achingly mesmerizing. She felt the familiar pain in her chest and knew that heartache was real. Why? Why does it still hurt so bad? And why is he doing this now?

“Come on, Nora. It’s been ten years. Surely we can talk by now.”

Sitting up straighter, she forced her lips into a tight smile, refusing to let him see the pain that she’d buried for so long. “You’re right. It has been ten years. Quite honestly, it’s been so long and our lives are so separate, I can’t imagine that we have anything to talk about.” She turned back to her sandwich, determined to force down a bite.

“We used to have a lot to talk about. As I remember, we talked about anything and everything.”

“Yes, Tate. Used to. Talked. Past tense. Years ago.” She noticed he had not picked up his sandwich, his attention focused on her. Just keep chewing. Just chew, swallow, and for goodness’ sake, don’t choke.

“If you hadn’t avoided me every time I came home, it wouldn’t have been so many years ago.”

“You made that choice, Tate.”

“I didn’t make the choice to avoid each other forever,” he argued in return.

“Why are you doing this?” she huffed. “I’m sure anything important that’s happened in the last ten years, Caroline’s already told you.”

He twisted further, his arm now resting on the back of the booth behind her, his torso fully facing her. “I’d rather hear about you from you.”

She closed her eyes for a few seconds, her mind in turmoil. Done. I’m so fuckin’ done with avoiding. Plopping her sandwich unceremoniously back into her plate, she turned to hold his gaze once again, this time lifting her eyebrows. “So, what shall we talk about? Caroline has mentioned you’re no longer a SEAL.”

His brow furrowed as he gave his head a quick shake. “I didn’t mean for us to talk about me—”

“Hey, just trying to make conversation. If you’re not interested…”

A heavy sigh left his lungs before his top teeth landed on his bottom lip. A gesture her eyes focused on, wishing it wasn’t as attractive as it was.

“No, no, I am interested.” Turning more fully toward her, he acquiesced. “I retired from the SEALs about five years ago. Did some missions for a special agency for a couple of years. The last two years I’ve been employed with a private security firm based out of Maine.”

Not having any idea what kind of work that entailed, she battled the urge to ask if it was dangerous. “Um… do you… um… like it? The work you do?”

“Yeah, I do. The military was great, but I like working for a private company now.”

She nodded, unable to think of anything else to ask. Looking back down at her now-unappetizing sandwich, she grabbed her water, taking a long sip.

“And you?”

Her gaze jerked to his face, but the intense look in his whiskey-colored eyes caused her to shift her attention back to her plate. Lifting her shoulders in a slight shrug, she replied, “Not many changes around here. I’m obviously a nurse at the hospital.”

She jumped as his large hand landed on her forearm, the heat searing from his touch. She tensed, fighting the desire to jerk her hand away mixed with the desire to lean into his warmth.

“I was out of contact for long periods of time when I was on missions, but Caroline told me about your dad and then your mom—”

“Yes, well… um…” Tears pricked the back of her eyes, and desperate to keep them from falling, she swallowed deeply. I haven’t cried in a long time… why does he still have this effect on me?

A wince crossed his face, hitting his brow. “I’m sorry, Nora. I was gone on a… a mission. Missions, actually. I didn’t get word from Caroline until much later for either of them. I… I’m sorry.”

She nodded rapidly while pressing her lips tightly together. Finally, clearing her throat, she managed to whisper, “Well, there was nothing you could have done.” She forced her gaze back to his face, a tremulous smile on her lips. “It doesn’t matter. I’m… I’m fine. I’ve got a good job. I’ve got good friends. I’ve got a small apartment that’s all mine. And your family has done an amazing job over the years of stepping in and making sure I was never alone.” Even as the words left her mouth, she knew they were a lie. Oh, yes, I’m very much alone.

Sparing him a glance, he appeared to be struggling but remained quiet. She noticed everything about him, just like so many years before. The crease in his brow when he was thinking hard about something. The way his gaze held hers when she spoke, making her feel as though she had his full attention. Now, she also noticed the crinkles emanating from his eyes and the few flecks of silver at the hair closest to his temple. Whatever she had imagined, it did not appear his life had been carefree. She gripped her fingers together, fighting the urge to reach up and touch the stubble covering his jaw. Looking back at her plate, she sucked in a ragged breath.

Please just eat your lunch, Tate. Eat, make small talk about the weather, and then leave. At least give me that. Just then, her hospital phone rang, and she quickly answered. Listening, she made a shooing motion with her hand. “Move, move, move. I’ve got to get back up… a new patient has arrived, and they need me to see to it.” Grateful that he shifted out of the booth, she leaned over to grab her tray.

“No, Nora. You go on, I’ll toss this out.”

With a quick nod, she turned and hurried out of the cafeteria, the bizarre conversation they just had still playing over in her mind. Shaking, she entered the empty elevator and leaned back against the wall. She dropped her chin and stared at her shoes, her body quivering as she tried to make sense of the whirl of emotions.
Maryann Jordan. Tate – ARC copy: Lighthouse Security Investigations (Kindle Locations 585-640).

There are still many unanswered questions and Tate wasn’t expecting the bombshell Nora drops on him. As he comes to terms somewhat, his father is getting ready to be discharged from the hospital. What he doesn’t expect is for Nora to be reassigned elsewhere.

Let’s just say that with Nora taking care of a guarded prisoner, Tate need to know everything he could about the man. He manages to get some of that information from his friend Billy, now a sheriff’s deputy, who’s assigned to this detail. Being protective is in Tate’s blood so he calls his office to get more information and doesn’t like what he finds out.

There are many hold your breath moments, and plenty of suspense and intrigue as this story unfolds. Tate and Nora really deserve their HEA, but they have to deal with the past and everything else first.

Once again a book I couldn’t put down.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Maryann Jordan

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.

Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.

My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!

I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.

When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me!


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A New Series Beginning with Two Books in One: Hope City Duet – Hope City Book 1 by Kris Michaels & Maryann Jordan


A Hope City Duet
One City… Countless Stories.
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Kris Michaels
&
Maryann Jordan

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Brock – Book 1
Kris Michaels

It had taken five years for Detective Kallie Redman to become emotionally and psychologically available after her cop-husband devastated their marriage and her career. The Hope City Police Department offered her a new beginning and over a thousand miles between her old life and her new. Being partnered with Brock King didn’t hurt either. He was smart, generous—and too sexy for words.

Placed under a microscope and intense pressure to solve a high-profile murder, homicide detective Brock King didn’t need or want a new partner. He managed his stress-filled life via sleep deprivation, a metabolism fueled by sugar and caffeine, and an all-consuming passion for his job. He had little time for anything else—and he was soul-tired of that wash-rinse-dry-repeat cycle. He’d written off finding a woman who’d put up with the odd hours, physical danger, and emotional stress of his job—until Kallie Redman. The woman was wicked sharp, ran on caffeine, and rocked one smoking hot body.

Unfortunately, the profession they chose had a way of grinding people into the ground, and the high-profile nature of this murder case guaranteed scrutiny from the press, the victim’s extremely wealthy family and politicians at the highest levels. He’d begun to question if he’d have a job at the end––or a shot at a life with Kallie.

Sean – Book 2
Maryann Jordan

The last thing arson detective Sean McBride expected while entrenched in the ongoing investigation of a serial arsonist was to meet a feisty insurance company fire investigator. But when she landed at his feet, breaking her wrist, he had more on his mind than just finding the elusive fire-starter. Picking her out of the ashes was easy. Needing to work with her…not so much.
Harper Walsh was stunned when the handsome detective insisted on taking her to the ER…even more stunned when he suggested they work together. But the stoic detective gave mixed messages…did he want her arson experience or something more?

Finding a woman who understood the demands of his job quickly had their partnership grow into love. He even introduced her to his large, crazy, but loveable family. But the arsonist was not as hidden as they suspected, and Harper gets too close to danger before Sean has a chance to smoke him out.

Will Sean be able to save Harper before the arsonist goes up in flames, taking her with him?

Note:
Scenes and language similar to an R-Rated movie. 18+ readers only.

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Brock by Kris Michaels

As this series opens we will meet many people with roles in future books. Brock King is a homicide detective and is called to the scene of a fire that is suspected to be arson. The body discovered didn’t die from the fire, he was already dead, his wallet nearby and though devoid of cash and credit cards contained his driver’s license.

The victim, identified as one Samuel Treyson. His family owns half the city, ensuring a media circus that would involve both the homicide and the arson. While Sean McBride the arson investigator calls his Captain, Brock calls his Lieutenant, then his father, Chauncey King, the police commissioner. While the brass head off the media, both Brock and Sean finish collecting evidence to go to the lab. Neither one of them happy with the pressure that was sure to be put on this case.

Brock’s partner, Jordan Wyatt had been working vice when the call came in, now he’s with Brock to follow some leads until the feds decide to pull him into a different mess of a case. They had just begun tracking Samuel’s day by receipts found in his wallet when that call came. Now Brock would be getting a new partner for the duration. He’d been assured his new partner would be a good fit but that remained to be seen.

I like the way we’re introduced to this partner. Not at the station but at the diner across the street. It’s a peek at the thoughts flowing through Kallie Redmond’s mind prior to reporting for duty. It also gave a glimpse her past prior to moving to Hope City.

Brock says goodbye to Jordan and assures him he will take care of his cat Fester, and check on his apartment and car while he’s working with the Feds. Then heads inside to meet his new partner.

This is a favorite scene.

They stood sheltered behind the precinct in a small walkway that led to the parking lot, neither one inclined to turn and go their separate ways. “You’ll probably get shoved onto another team. They won’t keep putting you with a slew of temps. Don’t let them assign you someone permanently.” Jordan shoved his hands in his pockets and looked up at the heavy clouds that hung over them. “It would fucking suck to have to break in a new partner when I get back.”

He tipped his eyes up, too. It was going to snow, just a matter of when. He spoke to the clouds, “Never. I don’t think anyone else could put up with me.”

“Damn straight.” He chuckled when his partner immediately agreed.

“Seriously, you take care of yourself. Check in when you can.” Because they both knew it would be impossible for him to reach Jordan.

“I guess I’d better go.” Jordan glanced toward the parking lot and his car. “You sure you’re okay taking care of Fester?”

He shrugged. “Sure. That cat is chill. I’ll move him over to mine tonight.”

“You have to actually feed him, so you have to leave the damn precinct at least once a day.”

“Got it. Feed the cat. He survived me watching him when you went to see your folks.”

“That was a week, Brock. This could be… a lot longer.”

“Fester and I will be fine.” He’d enlist his little sisters to help cat sit if he needed to, but he’d make sure the thing made it through.

“Check on my apartment and car?” Jordan said.

“You know it.”

“Okay, so…”

“Yeah.” He extended his hand one last time. Jordan took it, and God help him if he didn’t feel like they were saying goodbye, not ‘so long’. He watched Jordan until he turned the corner before he entered the building. He nodded to people as he passed through the lobby and made his way to the sixth floor. The case and Jordan’s departure weighed equally on his mind. He wasn’t happy with either situation, but for now his focus had to be on the case. He glanced at his watch. If his new partner wasn’t a complete idiot, he could get him up to speed, interview Chloe and maybe Garrett, and make it to Miriam Treyson’s home by 3:30. He’d instructed patrol to bring both individuals to the precinct. He’d rather talk to them in their homes, but there was no time to waste. If it turned out his new partner was an idiot, well, he’d just tell the guy to shut his mouth and take notes. He didn’t have time to waste on an idiot partner. He had to solve this murder. The stakes were too damn high. His father’s career was on the line. Fuck, there wasn’t any time to waste.

He did a drive-by and snagged a tankard of coffee before he headed for Lieutenant Davidson’s office. The door was closed, so he knuckled the frosted glass and waited. “Enter.”

He pushed the door open. “Jordan punched out.”

“Ah, King. Come in. This is your new partner, Kallie Redman.”

A woman in the corner stood. Wow. She was tall and a fucking knock-out punch type of striking, not beautiful in the classic sense, but fuck him, he’d notice her in a crowd. Dark brown hair held away from intelligent brown eyes. He’d describe her vibe as… athletic. No makeup but vibrant and… striking. Oh, yeah, there was a feisty spirit in this lady. He could see the challenge in the way she sized him up. Not an idiot, either. Those eyes were sharp and inquisitive. She extended her hand.

“Brock King.” He introduced himself, grasping her hand. The woman had a firm handshake, and she met his eyes. Damn, she struck him as… razor sharp. “Have you been brought up to speed on the case we are working?”

She nodded. “The basics that the Lieutenant had.” She nodded at the case file on Davidson’s desk.

“Perfect.” He turned away from her and addressed Davidson. “We tracked down several key people in Treyson’s life. He was in a polyamorous relationship that his wife knew about.”

“Jealousy as a motive?” His new partner interjected.

“At this time, we don’t believe so. The interview we just had with a Miss Ava Dall suggested the wife has lovers, too. Patrol have brought in two of Treyson’s three lovers, and we have an appointment to speak to his wife at 3:30.”

His partner blinked twice. “Excuse me? Appointment?”

Oh, fuck, yeah. She was sharp but obviously not from Hope City. An accent was immediately distinguishable. Southern, but not in that twangy backwoods way.

He nodded and then chuckled, “The Treysons own half the city. I tried to talk to the wife this morning after processing the crime scene. Besides the horde of press at the residence, I was met with a wall of lawyers.”

“What time was that?” She glanced at her watch.

“About 6:00 a.m.”

She glanced at him and narrowed her eyes. “So…” She glanced at the lieutenant and then back at him. She shrugged and finished, “You’ve got a leak, and someone told wifey that the husband was dead—or she’s involved and knew you’d be coming.”

Brock smiled. A real, show-your-teeth smile. Fuck, yeah, he’d drawn a winner. “Exactly.”

“The file listed the evidence gathered, and I saw the crime scene photos. What about your examination of the scene? Did the fire destroy evidence? Was there any indication as to why this guy was at the warehouse or how he got there?”

“None. Of course, the first responders annihilated any tire tracks around the building. There was little physical evidence on scene. No tracks. The floor was concrete, and it was dry ground. Fingerprints were nonexistent. The arson investigator on scene told me the accelerant used was probably gasoline. The person who torched the warehouse wasn’t a professional. More than likely the fire was an attempt to try to hide the crime. The ME has orders to push the tox and histology to the front of the queue, but we have a couple weeks minimum to wait for those. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get a ping off of one of his lovers or the wife. We’ve got the techs downloading his phone information, and we are tracing his moves based on the apps and the receipts in his wallet to build his last twenty-four to forty-eight.”

“What does this guy do? Is he a socialite or a businessman? If he is a businessman, does he have enemies?”

“On the list of avenues to travel down and explore. Come on, I’ll show you where we work, and then we’ll head out and talk to his lovers.”

“Perfect, but I’m going to need coffee. How much is the coffee fund, and where did you get that thermos impersonating a mug? I gotta get me one.” She nodded at his cup. He glanced at Davidson. “Boss, I like this one.”

“Well, she’s not yours to keep.” Davidson moved a stack of paperwork toward him. “Jordan will be back, and we are finally getting Couch back from deployment. Get out of my office, and find me the bastard who killed this guy. Shut my door on your way out.”
Michaels, Kris. A Hope City Duet (pp. 55-59). KMRW LLC. Kindle Edition.

There are many ups and downs in this investigation, Kallie is sharp and as they work together they also find an attraction. It’s a good thing they wouldn’t be permanent partners and that their isn’t a policy in place to prevent them from seeing each other outside of work.

We meet the King family in this one, since it’s all about the police investigation and their family is mostly police. I anticipate seeing all these folks in future books of the series.

This is an edge of your seat tale and just when things are wrapping up, the past looms up to bite Kallie. Lots of action, suspense, a simmer to sizzle romance and a whole lot more!

I’m just going to keep reading now with ‘Sean’. I like that the first two books are together in one.

5 Contented Purrs for Kris!

Sean by Maryann Jordan

In this book we go back to the fire scene we saw in ‘Brock’. Detective Sean McBride is with the Arson Division. Hope City is one of few places fortunate to have that special unit of detectives. Especially now with a serial arsonist on the loose. This warehouse fire was different though. We get a bit of a replay as Brock, Sean’s best friend arrives at the scene before we settle into the Arson investigation.

After the initial evidence collection the lab requests some additional samples in different containers. When Sean gets to the site he’s stunned and angry to see a woman there.

Harper is the fire investigator for the insurance company, just like Sean she needs to collect evidence. She brings it to an independent lab for analysis and adds those results to her findings for or against policy payout.

Sean yelled at her causing her to startle and fall injuring herself. He immediately offers assistance and insists on accompanying her to the hospital to be checked out.

This is a favorite scene.

Harper Walsh focused on the task, never hearing anyone approach. She let out an undignified squeal when a man’s angry voice sounded out just behind her. Whirling around, she landed awkwardly amongst some of the concrete that she had stepped over. A sharp pain shot through her hand and wrist, reverberating up her arm as she stared up in shock.

She blinked for a second, noting that his dark hair and blue eyes, square, stubbled jaw, and tall, obviously fit body combined to create a gorgeous man. But as he towered over her, his eyes snapping and his hands planted on his hips, it was equally obvious that he was furious. Her gaze dropped to where his hands pulled his jacket open, and she saw a badge hanging on his belt.

Damn, I was told the police were finished with the scene. Trained to not get in the way of the police when collecting evidence, she was careful to always follow protocol. She placed her hands on the ground next to her in an attempt to stand. The stabbing pain in her wrist caused her to cry out, plopping back down on her ass, now cradling her injured wrist with her other hand. Shit, shit, shit!

The man dropped to kneel by her side, his large presence seeming to surround her. “Let me see.” No longer scowling, his voice still held an irritated edge.

Fighting the embarrassment of her clumsiness, she started to lose the battle of keeping her tears at bay from the pain. “Why did you have to sneak up on me and then bellow?”

“Sneak? I wasn’t sneaking.”

“Well, you certainly bellowed.” Still cradling her wrist, she looked up, stunned to see him so close. She could now see that his eyes were not just blue but a shade that reminded her of the water in the harbor on a bright, cloudless, sunny day. He did not just have stubble but had a neatly trimmed beard. His hair was dark, almost black, just as neatly trimmed. The breeze blew a few strands, but she wondered if his hair would not dare to mess with the commanding man.

“I don’t bellow,” he refuted, not as confidently as he had sounded a moment earlier. He reached out and took her injured arm in his hands, his touch gentle but causing her to wince. His voice softened. “It might be broken.”

She feared he was right. “Damn it, I don’t have time for this.” Tears sprang to her eyes. The back of the hand he now held was covered in burn scars from long ago, extending from her fingers to several inches above her wrist. Uncertain if he was staring at her new injury or old scars, she pulled her hand from his, wincing again at the pain.

“You need to have that looked at. I’m serious when I said it might be broken.”

Glancing toward her evidence kit on the ground next to her, she gritted her teeth. “My samples. I have to get my samples to the lab.”

Still kneeling, he looked down at the labeled bottles and bags. “Who are you and what are you doing here?”

Breathing through the pain, she gritted her teeth. “I’m a fire investigator.”

His brow lifted as he cocked his head to the side. “And who do you work for?”

“Eastern Mutual Insurance Company.” She met his glare with one of her own.

“Okay, then answer the first question I asked you. Who are you?”

Frustration at her situation stabbed through her, almost as painful as her wrist. “My name is Harper. Harper Walsh. I’m a certified Evidence Collection Technician as well as working on my final certification to become a Fire Investigator. Eastern Mutual sent me here, and I had been given clearance to come to this site. I was told the police were finished with their evidence collection and that’s why I was here. I had no problem with the policeman letting me in.”

With a curt nod, he stood. “Here, let me help you.” He placed his hands underneath her armpits and with little effort lifted her to her feet.

“Oh, now you want to help?” Looking at her wrist, she observed the swelling as well as bruising and felt lightheaded. No, no! Always fainting at the sight of blood, she could not believe she was going to pass out, considering her injury was not bleeding. Her stomach roiled. God, don’t let me throw up on him. She tried to maintain her dignity, breathing deeply, but weaved, and her knees buckled.

Strong arms grabbed her shoulders to keep her from staggering, and she face-planted against his broad chest, her head foggy.

“I’ll take you to the hospital.”

The last thing she wanted was to be indebted to the grumpy detective. She sucked in a deep breath in an attempt to clear her head and pushed away from his support. “I’ll just gather my samples and leave. I can drive myself to have my arm checked out.”

“Nope.” He deftly bent, picked up her evidence bag in one hand, and with his other hand at her elbow guided her carefully toward the front of the warehouse, pointing out the rubble she needed to step over.

Ignoring his care, she focused on his one word response. “What do you mean by ‘nope’?” He looked down at her, and she tried not to stare at his lips, which were now very close to hers.

He held her gaze then sighed loudly. “Nope. No. Nix. Negative. Not going to happen. Not going to let you. Any other questions?” She blinked, her mouth opening but no words came forth, and he continued. “I feel responsible for your injury and would like to make sure you arrive at the ER safely to get your arm checked out.”

“I don’t even know who you are.”

He had the grace to look chagrined. “You’re right. I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself. I’m Detective Sean McBride. Arson Division. HCPD.”

“And are you always so bossy?”

“When I think someone needs help, then yes.”

She glanced over, seeing the policeman by the yellow tape staring narrow-eyed at them. Great, it looks like I’m being arrested. Bypassing her car, he continued toward a large SUV. He opened the door and placed her evidence collection bag onto his backseat, then reached into the front seat to grab a large paper sack, placing it into the back as well.

The scent of greasy sausage met her nostrils, and with the pain in her arm, another wave of nausea moved over her. Blowing out a deep breath, she battled the desire to throw up again.

He assisted her into the seat, his movements gentle. “Do you need help with the buckle?”

She reached over to take the seat belt, but pain shot through her left hand as she attempted to pull it down. He leaned over to buckle her, and she sucked in her stomach in an instinctive response to make herself appear smaller. Her gaze dropped from his eyes to his mouth. God, what would his lips feel like against mine? She tried to block out the idea and blurted, “Your vehicle smells like a diner.”

His lips curved into a grin, and his rugged good looks morphed into just pure handsome. Speaking softly, his breath whispering across her cheeks, he said, “That’s because I’ve got a dozen sausage biscuits in that bag.”

He leaned back, threw the door closed, and jogged around the front of his SUV. Calling out to the policeman still standing by the tape, he said, “I’ll take care of getting her vehicle later.”

They drove in silence for a moment, and Harper’s mind raced. How could everything have gone so wrong within a matter of moments? Following all proper procedures, she was almost finished with the evidence collection that she would need for both her certification and for her employer when she had suddenly landed on her ass with a possible broken wrist. And, of course, the cause of both had to be an infuriating—albeit gorgeous—detective.

Sighing, she knew that she needed to make amends. She had been sure that the police were finished with the scene or she would have waited. “While I had every right to be where I was, I’m sorry if I got in your way. I’m also sorry that you’re now having to take your time to drive me to the hospital. I’m sure I could’ve made the trip myself.”

“Apology accepted.”

His deep voice glided over her, sounding sincere. Twisting her head around to look at him, she asked, “That’s it?”

He shrugged. “You apologized. I accepted.”

She was quiet for a moment, wondering about the ease of his acceptance, and he continued, “I was taught that a heartfelt apology should always be accepted. If not, then it reflects on me, not the other person. And while we’re at it, I’m sorry to be the cause of your fall.”

She leaned her head back against the headrest and closed her eyes. His words were spoken in a soft voice, but the sincerity rang out clearly, something she had not expected considering his earlier arrogance. Her mother’s similar words ran through her mind. “Funny, I was taught the same thing… apology accepted.”
Michaels, Kris. A Hope City Duet (pp. 280-284). KMRW LLC. Kindle Edition.

Not exactly the best way to meet someone, but one that quickly spread to colleagues and friends providing a never ending source of amusement.

With the results in on the warehouse proving it wasn’t their serial arsonist, Sean and Jonas get back to work sifting through possible suspects.

Harper and Sean have an attraction that only grows as they continue to cross paths in there investigating. As much as he may try to avoid it, Sean can’t help but admire Harper’s tenacity and investigative instincts.

In spite of or perhaps because of the intensity of the investigation, Sean falls in deeper and deeper with Harper. Their attraction sparks into flame as things heat up with the arsonist. Yes, pun intended.

I enjoyed this book immensely and since I’ve already read and reviewed ‘Carter’, I have to wait for the release of ‘Brody’ later this month.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Coming Soon!


Kris Michaels

USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Author, Kris Michaels is the alter ego of a happily married wife and mother. She writes romance, usually with characters from military and law enforcement backgrounds.

Kris was born and raised in South Dakota. She graduated many years ago from a high school class consisting of 13 students (yes that is thirteen, eleven girls and two boys…lucky boys). She joined the military, met her husband, and traveled the world. Today she lives on the Gulf Coast and writes full time.

Kris is an avid people watcher and dreamer. The stories she writes are crafted around the hopes and dreams of a true romantic. She believes love is essential, people are beautiful, and everyone deserves a happy ending.

When she isn’t writing Kris enjoys a full life revolving around family, friends, laughing, whiskey, and cold red wine. (Yes cold…don’t judge.)

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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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Carter – Hope City Book 2 by Maryann Jordan


Two Authors… A New Series…
One City… Countless Stories.

Carter
Hope City Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Detective Carter Fiske has a homeless man’s death to investigate. Opioids are in the man’s system, but it is the bag of prescription drugs in his pocket that has Carter’s interest. Especially considering this is the third death of a homeless person this month with a bag of drugs in their possession.

Tara McBride Wilson, single mom and head social worker at Ever Hope Homeless Shelter, has little time to deal with the handsome detective who keeps popping up…at work and on her mind.

When Carter asks Tara out to gain more information on the shelter and the connected clinic, he does not expect to start falling for the beautiful, caring woman. Finding out she is the sister of Sean and Kyle McBride, two of his detective friends, does not make matters easier.

When she discovers his subterfuge, she does not want anything more to do with him, having trust issues after her ex-husband left her high and dry. Carter has his work cut out for him to prove that he is the man for her and her daughter.
But danger lurks close by and as they work together to find out where the drugs are coming from, can Carter keep Tara safe?

Hope City…a series created by two USA Today Bestselling Authors Maryann Jordan and Kris Michaels

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I have to confess, I’ve read  the ‘Hope City Duet’ but haven’t reviewed it yet. Now it’s at the top of my list because many of the people in this book are introduced in that duet.

Carter is investigating homeless deaths that have a connection to the drugs found on the bodies. It’s not easy to find clues or evidence. Two of his friends on the force, Sean and Kyle, start to tell him to contact their sister who might be able to help, but they are always interrupted.

Tara runs the Ever Hope Homeless Shelter, they have programs to help the residents get back on their feet. They are not a single night type of shelter. She meets Carter as he’s looking for clues as to the identity of the latest homeless man. When she recognizes the man in the photo Carter asks if she could identify the body. Although shaken she agrees. This wasn’t going to be the last she sees of Carter in the course of this investigation.

Carter visits again the next day, requesting more information.

This is a favorite scene.

Carter was not sure what he’d expected when he walked into Ever Hope Homeless Shelter yesterday but had hoped that Sean and Kyle’s sister worked there and would be able to help him. The idea of a detective’s sibling being more efficient with the police had settled in his mind. But since there was no McBride at the center, he had to admit the intrepid Tara Wilson handled herself with professional efficiency. Her composure at the morgue impressed him. And now, if it wasn’t for the slight shaking of her hands, he would never know that she was stressed.

Earlier, as he walked behind her down the long, tiled hall, his gaze was drawn to her ass even though there was nothing overtly sexual about her clothes. Plain, pale-yellow blouse paired with black slacks. Her feet tapped along the tiles, encased in low heeled pumps. Even her office was professionally efficient, both neat and cluttered at the same time. Files and papers were stacked on her desk, but as she sat in her chair and directed her gaze toward him, he had the feeling she could lay her hand on any report needed.

After she viewed the photograph of Carl, he pulled out a second picture and slid it toward her. “This is another young man found dead. Jonathan Rothberg. As far as we can tell, he also had no address, leading us to believe he may be homeless. Unlike Carl, he wasn’t a veteran. I’m hoping to see if there’s anything you can tell me about him.”

She took the old photograph from his hand and gave it the same careful scrutiny she had with Carl’s picture. Shaking her head, she said, “No. I don’t recognize his face.” Without another word, she opened her laptop and quickly began to type. She continued to shake her head as she looked up from her computer to hold his gaze. “Carl’s not in our system.”

“System?”

“There are multiple homeless shelters in Hope City. Those that are sanctioned and funded by the city, such as ours, and those run by private groups and churches. We do have a shared database for listing anyone who comes to stay with us, although it is not inclusive.”

“So, if he was homeless, he would be in your database?” he asked.

“The city shelters are very good about keeping track of the information. Some of the others are less… um… accurate.”

“Why would a shelter not be accurate?”

“Some are emergency shelters or cold-weather shelters run by churches. While we appreciate all efforts to aid the homeless, some do not keep records the way we’re required to. They may also hand out sleeping bags and food while not offering a bed.”

“Are you able to service most of the homeless through the city’s shelters?”

She tilted her head to the side, her expressive blue eyes peering straight into his. It was hard not to notice her beauty, but at the moment, her pink-tinted lips were stretched into a thin line.

“Detective Fiske, on any given day there are almost three-thousand persons considered to be homeless in Hope City. Seventy-two percent of those are men, and at least ten percent are veterans. Over twenty-five percent are considered to be chronically homeless, which means it’s not temporary. In our city, there are only about twelve hundred emergency beds. You can do the math. That means many, many homeless persons are either turned away because there’s not enough room or they never make it through our doors.”

“And Jonathan?”

Tara’s attention refocused on her computer. When she looked up and held his gaze, he was struck with the clearness of her blue eyes and beautiful face in contrast to the hard set of her jaw. She tilted her head and he realized he was staring. “Did you find anything?” His voice was rough, covering his perusal.

“Yes. Last year, he spent two nights at the emergency shelter over on 43rd Street. From what I can see, those were the only two nights that he spent at a shelter.”

“What about clinics for treating or offering prescription drugs for the homeless?” He watched her blink at the change in direction of his inquiry.

“Our center is next to a free clinic if that’s what you’re asking. It’s not the only clinic in the area that provides services to the poor and uninsured.”

“So, Carl Burnley or Jonathan Rothberg could have been seen at the clinic without ever having come to stay at this homeless shelter?”

She leaned back in her seat as she nodded. “What are you not telling me, Detective Fiske?”

He held her steady gaze, his admiration increasing. Smart, intuitive. And beautiful. He considered how much to reveal, then decided she might be more accommodating if she knew what he was up against. “All three men had opioids in their systems and pills in their possession.”

It took just a few seconds for her eyes to widen and she gasped. “Rocky? Rocky also?”

“Yes, Ms. Wilson. This is why we’re investigating. All three were carrying prescription pills in baggies— way more than they would be taking.”

She looked down at her hands clasped together on her desk as she pursed her lips together again. “I see. I’m not sure what you’re looking for, but over forty percent of those who seek shelters have a substance use disorder.” Lifting her head, she speared him with her glacial stare and added, “The streets are full of ways for them to get their next fix. I’m not sure looking at the clinics that offer needed services is the right place for you to focus your energies.”

“What can you tell me about Rocky? Was he being seen for a substance use disorder? Or given opioids for pain? Other drugs?”

A long silence ensued, and he wondered if she was going to answer his question. While she stared at her hands on her desk again, it gave him full access to study her discreetly. She didn’t wear a wedding ring, and he wondered if she, like him, was married to the job. A demanding job that probably at times seemed as thankless as mine. He noted the dark circles underneath her eyes, possibly indicating little sleep the previous night. A stab of guilt moved through him that he needed her at the morgue. I’ve no doubt that was sure as fuck not what she expected to have to do when she came to work yesterday. She lifted a hand and rubbed her forehead as though in pain. “Ms. Wilson, are you okay?” He blinked in surprise when her gaze hit him.

“I’m sorry, Detective Fiske. My mind wandered. All I could think about was Rocky finding a place out of the elements to stay warm but having the bad luck of being near a fire.” She opened her mouth as though to say more, then gave her head a little shake. Clearing her throat, she said, “You asked about drugs. I can’t tell you what he had taken. The times he came in to talk to me he was clear-eyed and coherent. I know he suffered from PTSD, and I referred him to the clinic. I spoke to Dr. Tiller about Rocky, and the last conversation we had about him I was told he was prescribing an antidepressant.”

“For those who can’t afford medication, how does the clinic handle that?”

“I know the basics of how the clinic functions, Detective, but you would need to speak to them about the particulars. The free clinic is a completely separate entity from the homeless shelter. Their facility is adjacent to us, but we are not connected to them financially or procedurally. We make recommendations that some of our homeless visit the clinic, but we have no control over whether they do or what happens once they are there. Their medical records are private unless they sign for us to have access, which we only need if they are receiving counseling from us.”
Maryann Jordan. Carter – ARC copy – not for sale or distribution: Hope City (Kindle Locations 630-688).

Visits to the clinic next door to the shelter don’t yield much more than other leads to follow.

I really loved the way Carter gets a sort of lunch date with Tara using the investigation as an excuse. That begins an interesting relationship that will have a few ups and downs.

This book grabbed hold of me on the first page and kept me enthralled to the very end. There is plenty of suspense, intrigue and twists with a simmer to sizzle romance that rounds everything out.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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Amazon Author Page

Count On Me – Baytown Boys Book 12 By Maryann Jordan


Count On Me
Baytown Boys Book 12
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

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Military duty called them away to war zones, but after tours overseas, the group of friends found their way back home as men, seeking the peaceful little seaside town. Now, the band of brothers, together once more, work to provide a place for less fortunate veterans to call home.

Scott Redding served his time in the Army and paid the price. Coming back to the Eastern Shore, he was determined to live his life and not be defined as an amputee. Meeting Beau Weston was supposed to be about helping the older man settle his affairs…not change his life.

Lizzie Weston raised goats and alpacas, rising early and going to bed late, determined to not let her grandfather’s farm be sold. Accepting help from Scott was not what she wanted. The handsome accountant had impressed her grandfather, but she was sure he lived a life of ease and would not understand the demands of farming.

As Scott and Lizzie worked to save Weston farm, animosity grew into understanding…and then to love. But someone is out to force Lizzie to sell and it is up to Scott to save the farm…and her.

NOTE:
Scenes and language similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie. 18+ readers only.

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After Scott Redding finished his Master’s Degree he returned to Baytown and began working for Lia at the Accounting Firm that had once been his grandfather’s. Lia has since offered him a partnership which he took without hesitation. A new to him client visits about taxes and plans for the farm. Beau Weston is all about making sure his granddaughter can make all the changes she needs to keep the place running and profitable.

Scott was still looking for the perfect house, he was renting but hadn’t found a house that said ‘home’ to him. On a detour he sees the sign for Weston Farms and Beau working the fence line.

This is a favorite scene.

The hot sun was beaming down, causing heat waves to rise from the asphalt road as Scott drove home from work. He had moved from the rental condo in The Dunes into a small rental house north of town. He had finally told his real estate agent that he was going to rent until he could find the perfect house. His rental house was much better than the condo but still did not feel like home.

As he came to an intersection, his way was blocked as the electric company was cutting overhanging limbs from a tree. Tossing a wave toward the workers, he turned down another lane to travel a different way home. With the air conditioner blasting, keeping the interior of his SUV cool, he felt sorry for the men and women who were working outside. He had planned on taking an afternoon run but decided he could wait until tomorrow morning.

Turning a corner, he saw a wooden sign proclaiming Weston Farms. He and Beau had stayed in contact as he found numerous tax benefits that would help the overall financial status of the farm. Beau did not make each monthly meeting of the American Legion, but Scott had seen him several times, the older man always greeting him warmly.

As he continued the drive, he saw Beau standing near the fence by the edge of the road. He pulled to the gravel shoulder, waving as Beau squinted in the sunlight to see who had arrived. Recognizing him, Beau waved as well, pulling off his hat to wipe his brow with a handkerchief.

Climbing from the driver’s seat, Scott walked over to the edge of the fence, shaking Beau’s hand, observing him sweating profusely. “Beau, I know you’re used to working outside, but it’s ungodly hot right now. Are you sure you’re okay?”

“You sound like my Lizzie,” Beau chuckled. He took a big breath and said, “You’re right, though. It’s mighty hot for this time of year. I surely can’t work the way I did when I was a younger man.”

His gaze drifted behind Beau to where a large animal was ambling toward them. Eyes wide, he asked, “Is that a llama?”

“Alpaca,” Beau answered. “We’ve got three of them now.”

Uncertain what to say, he was also uncertain how Beau felt about the odd-looking animal. The alpaca wandered over and nudged Beau’s hat off his head. Beau huffed, re-settled his hat, and said, “Stop that, Caesar!”

Blinking, Scott was unable to hold back his laughter. “Caesar? His name is Caesar?”

Shaking his head, Beau chuckled as well. “This here is Caesar.” Pointing toward the distance where two other alpacas were standing under the shade of a tree, he added, “The one on the right is Cleopatra, and the other one is Mark Antony.” He lost the battle of holding in his own laughter, and said, “My Lizzie… she’s got an imagination.”

Looking to the left, Scott saw a separate grazing area where goats roamed freely, younger goats frolicking around the pasture. Off to the right, nestled in between several large trees, sat a white, two-story farmhouse, complete with a wide front porch and two brick chimneys on either side. Several trimmed box hedges were in front of the porch, flowers blooming between each one. The house gave off a vibe of comfort and days gone by. His breath caught in his throat as he stared at the simple structure, resplendent in its simplicity.

“Would you like to come in for some lemonade?” Beau asked. “Lizzie has gone into town to the grocery, but I’m sure she’s got either lemonade or sweet tea in the refrigerator.”

It was on the tip of his tongue to take Beau up on his offer but realized that by doing so he would pull Beau away from the work on the fence that he had been involved in before Scott drove along. To a farmer, time was money, and he certainly did not want to interfere with Beau’s business.

“That’s a nice offer, Beau, but I really need to get home. I’ll let you finish your work.”

Shaking his hand goodbye, Beau added, “I wanted to thank you for all your help with our taxes this past year. With the changes coming along that Lizzie and I would like to make, we’re still solvent, and I can keep from having to sell Luca more of my land.”

“Don’t mention it. I’ll see you soon.” Observing Beau wiping the sweat from his red face again, he added, “Don’t work too hard and take care of yourself.” With a wave goodbye and a final longing look at the farm, Scott climbed back into his car, blasted the air conditioner once more, and drove home. Pulling into the gravel drive of his small rental, he thought back to the Weston farmhouse, wondering if his real estate agent could find a house like that for him.
Maryann Jordan. Count On Me – ARC Copy: Baytown Boys (Kindle Locations 221-256).

Scott becomes acquainted with Beau’s granddaughter, Lizzy, after he dies. It was Beau’s wish that Scott help Lizzy accomplish her dreams for the farm, not only through the tax help, but also with a business plan.

Lizzy isn’t all that enthused about accepting his help, but their story is one of developing trust, friendship and a simmer to sizzle love. With unexpected twists, and plenty of interaction with the original Baytown Boys, the veterans that have made Baytown their home, and the strong successful women who love them.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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Amazon Author Page

Cas – Heroes at Heart Book 8 By Maryann Jordan


Cas
Heroes at Heart Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

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The true measure of a man is not in the mistakes he makes…but in how he handles those mistakes.

For Cas, raised with seven brothers by the indomitable Miss Ethel, he reveled in being able to be himself. A dreamer. An artist. A woodcarver.

And when she moved next door, he had no idea his childhood friend would eventually become a young love, only to be taken away.

Years later, living alone, Cas discovered that sometimes miracles can repeat themselves and second chances are possible.

NOTES:
The final Heroes at Heart, based loosely on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Scenes and language similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie.

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The beginning of this book is all about the time when Bianca had been their neighbor.

Cas was thirteen when a young girl and her father moved in across the street from Miss Ethel’s. She was a pretty little girl with long black hair, pale skin and beautiful blue eyes. He was a little annoyed when she first introduced herself but found himself tolerating her.

Bianca was intrigued by Cas and the fact he has 7 brothers, referring to them as dwarfs like in Sleeping Beauty and Cas wasn’t going to contradict her, he got a kick out of it.

Once she met the others she said they were much more like giants and instead of comparing Cas to the prince she informs them he’s more like the hunter. She spent many days at Miss Ethel’s while her father worked, even after he remarried.

They lost touch when she moved away, her father had given in to his new wife and found a position in California. Cas graduated high school and following his brother’s footsteps enlisted in the Army. Bianca always managed to sneak into his thoughts and he hoped all was well with her.

Years have passed and Bianca’s father died, she has her mother’s inheritance and actually had to go to court because her stepmother contested the will. Having won that battle she travels back to Virginia to where she was once truly happy.

This is a favorite scene.

Cas had spent the morning in his workshop, applying a second coat of stain to the Hansel and Gretel bed. Once satisfied, he headed inside his house for lunch, then spent time at his computer looking through some of the marketing plans Cael had sent to him. Regina had created a website to show the restoration work Cael did on old homes and recently suggested that Cas have a website for his handmade furniture.

Tired of looking at various sites, he leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms above his head. It dawned on him that he had not seen Princess since he came back into the house. She often disappeared, finding a sunny corner to sleep in, but never missed a meal.

He began searching room by room but was unable to locate her. His concern ratcheted up with every moment she remained unfound. He had raised his bedroom window overnight to allow a breeze to come through. Princess often liked to sit on the windowsill, sniffing the fresh air. Moving to his window, he was stunned to see that the screen was loose from its frame, creating an opening that had bits of white fur caught in it.

Horrified that she might have gotten outside to chase something she spied, he raced through his house and out the back door. He had no idea how to locate her since her deafness kept him from calling out.

Heart pounding, he raced around the perimeter of his house, not seeing her. Looking toward the edge of the clearing where his workshop stood, he noticed the door was pushed open further than he had left it. Oh, thank God! She’s in there!

Feet pounding over the grass, he ran to his workshop, threw the door open wider and darted inside, kicking the door behind him to make sure she did not escape. Instead of seeing Princess, there was a woman standing with her back against the window, her fingers resting on one of the children’s beds he had made.

Stunned, his body jerked as his feet came to a sudden halt. “Who the hell are you?” he bit out, his gaze moving from her to the floor to see if his cat was skulking about.

He heard the woman squeak, but with the dim light in his shop, her face was in shadow and he could not discern her features clearly. Her eyes opened wide and her hand snatched back from the wood as though burned.

Taking a step forward, he repeated, “Who the hell are you?”

“I’m so sorry.” The woman’s voice was rushed, carrying an element of fear. “I know I’m trespassing, but I came over to find out about a cat and I saw the door open—”

His gaze had bounced between her and scanning the floor to see if he could see Princess, but now jerked back to the woman’s face. “Cat? What about my cat?”

“A white cat came to my house and I was trying to find the owner—”

“What house? Where do you live?” he barked.

Huffing, the woman sighed. “Look, I know I’m trespassing, and I’ve apologized. But please, let me explain, and if the cat is yours, then I can get it for you.”

Fists on his hips, he continued to glare but stayed quiet, waiting for her to speak.

“I just moved in next door… the rental. A solid white cat came up to my back patio. I could tell she was somebody’s pet because she was well-fed and beautiful. This was the only other house I knew that was around here. I put her inside my house so that she would be safe and walked over here.” She looked around, and her hands lifted to her sides as she continued, “I confess that when I saw the door open and came in, I was absolutely entranced by the work you do.”

“The cat is mine,” he stated. Turning to the side, he waved his arm toward the door as though inviting her to leave in front of him. “I’d like to go get her now if you don’t mind.” He knew he was being rude but worry over Princess caused his words to continue to carry a bite.

The woman did not move but cocked her head to the side. “How do I know that the cat is yours?”

He tried to keep from growling, but his fear for his cat was now morphing into anger. “White cat. Female. Blue eyes. Deaf.”

The woman’s shoulders relaxed, and she nodded. “That’s right. I can go get her and bring her—”

“I’ll come.”

“Oh… okay.” The woman walked past him, keeping her gaze straight ahead as they left the shadowed interior of the workshop. She continued to walk into the woods, and he followed right behind. She was shorter than him, only coming to his shoulder, and her body was slender. Not too thin like she starved herself every meal nor overly athletic as though she worked out at the gym every day. She had curves, and his eyes dropped to the way her shorts cupped her ass.

“There isn’t a path between our houses, but I found that it wasn’t far,” she called out, not even looking over her shoulder at him.

He was glad she was staring straight ahead so that he was not caught ogling her ass. Forcing his gaze upward, he noticed her shiny, black hair swinging just below her shoulders. They quickly came out of the woods and into a clearing similar to his own. Her cabin was much smaller than his and without a garage. He followed her to her back patio and halted as she started into her house.

As much as he wanted to get to his cat, he was not about to enter a woman’s house uninvited. The screen door slammed shut behind her and she called out, “It’s okay, you can come in.”

With his hand on the screen door, he asked, “Are you sure? You can just bring Princess to me, and I’ll take her off your hands and get her back home.”

The woman had bent behind the kitchen counter and now walked back toward the door, cradling the large white cat in her arms. He was staring at Princess, breathing a sigh of relief, and with a wide smile now on his face, he opened the door. Stepping inside her house, he extended his arms.

“Oh, my God!” the woman said as she stumbled backward.

His gaze shot up to her face as the screen door slammed closed behind him, and Princess jumped to the floor at the movement. The woman’s blue eyes were wide, her black hair framing her pale face. It took several seconds for his mind to catch up to what his eyes were seeing, then he repeated her words, “Oh, my God.” Princess, now forgotten at their feet, walked away, swishing her tail.

“Cas?”

“Bianca?”

He moved forward on instinct as she threw her arms around him. Stunned that someone he thought he would never see now had their arms around him and was tucked underneath his chin, his mind raced with questions. Hers must have also because she leaned back, peered up at him, and said, “I can’t believe it’s you!”

She lowered her arms and stepped back, and he instantly missed her touch. Her gaze moved over him in the same way that his had earlier when he checked her out.

They both started to speak at the same time, then halted and laughed.
Maryann Jordan. Cas – ARC Copy: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 1145-1198).

Their reunion was epic! I loved it so much, Cas’ cat Princess was very smart to find their new neighbor.

Of course nothing is going to be completely smooth, even though they click on every level imaginable, Cas does something really dumb.

Cas comes up with some very unique ways to ask her forgiveness.

Bianca also has some things to figure out and deal with.

I love all the quotes in this book and Miss Ethel is the anchor of this wonderful group of men and their families.

Some suspense, laughter, and tears, with the friends that are more like family.

I hate to see this series come to an end, but I am sure Maryann Jordan has many new and wonderful things in the works.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Maryann Jordan

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.

Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.

My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!

I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.

When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me!


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Amazon Author Page

Blake – Lighthouse Security Investigations Book 5 By Maryann Jordan


Lighthouse Security Investigations

The Lighthouse SI Keepers were men and women from the SEALs,
Rangers, Special Forces, Deltas, and AF Special Ops.
All having been trained in CIA Special Ops,
the Keepers were the best of the best
and ready to take on any mission.

Blake
Lighthouse Security Investigations Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Blake…

Former Delta and adventure lover was stuck on a boring, bodyguard mission for an academic at a conference in French Guiana. The only thing holding his attention was the beautiful interpreter he noticed in the balcony and at the hotel.

Sara…

An American interpreter assigned to the economic conference, found the handsome bodyguard to be much more interesting than the topic she was interpreting.

They shared a night of passion and were prepared to say goodbye…until Blake watched her kidnapped from a shop the next morning.

With the aid of the French Guiana Police and the other Keepers from Lighthouse Security, Blake’s routine mission became anything but boring and the Amazon rainforest was no hiding place for the men who dared to take Sara.

As they made their escape up the Lawa River, Blake found that Sara was much more than just a rescue mission. But would their love survive the return to their lives back in America? When she is threatened again, Blake vows to keep her safe at all costs.

Note:
Scenes and language similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie. 18+ readers

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Blake had just returned from a mission, a rather boring one and he really wanted something with a bit more action. Unfortunately he was assigned as security to a man attending an economics summit in Guiana. A man with no threats against him, just a fear of being in a foreign country.

He settles in somewhat with Stanley, but really didn’t see the point in traveling if you weren’t going to do some site-seeing and sample some local cuisine.

Blake notices one of the translators, her hair is what caught his eye, but she was magnificent in all ways. Unfortunately he thinks he’s missed his chance with her only to have her return to the bar where he was enjoying a drink alone on the last day.

Sara and Blake share an explosive evening, one that has him waking alone. He does however get the opportunity to see her at breakfast after Stanley heads to a lobby shop to get gifts for family.

He intends to catch up with Stanley and does when Sara expresses a desire to purchase a scarf she saw earlier, a sort of tradition started by her mother.

Then the fun begins.

This is a favorite scene.

He had only taken two steps toward Sara when a squeak of fear sounded from the other side of the shop. His gaze jerked over, landing on three masked men who had entered, each holding a gun.

Instantly assessing, he watched as two of them headed straight to the jewelry counter and the third positioned himself where he could keep his eyes on the whole shop. The older man held his arm out, trying to shield his wife. The pregnant woman was standing closest to Sara, and with his peripheral vision, he could see that Sara moved slightly in front of her, offering whatever protection she could. Stanley, still at the jewelry counter, began babbling.

“Oh, my God, you’ve got guns! I don’t know anything! I don’t have anything!”

One of the men shoved Stanley out of the way and began speaking in rapid-fire words, but Blake was not sure what language it was. He thought it was French, and the store clerk appeared to understand the language, or at least understand what the gun pointed toward him meant. The clerk took the cloth bag in his shaking hands and began filling it with the diamond jewelry.

Blake had a holstered gun underneath his jacket but knew he could not get to it safely without risking the other customers. Fuck, if it was just me, I could take all three out. The thieves were of slight build and less than six feet tall. The one holding the bag for the salesclerk was sweating profusely, and Blake would have bet this was his first robbery. The one next to him appeared twitchy, his nerves showing. Blake slid his eyes back to the one watching the customers. He’s the fuckin’ leader. Even with a black bandanna tight across the lower half of his face, it was easy to see the man was not sweating, and his eyes were clear and sharp.

Blake glanced down at Stanley, who was cowering on the floor. My job is to keep my mission safe. A slight movement caught his eye, and he glanced back to Sara, who had managed to slide completely in front of the pregnant woman, her arms out slightly from her sides offering more protection. Admiration along with fear for her moved through his mind.

The salesclerk made quick work of filling the bag with jewelry, and the two thieves stepped back to the one eyeing the group.

Blake breathed steadily. Okay, you got what you came for. Now just leave. Nice and easy.

The leader stepped closer to Sara, lifted the butt of his gun, and ran it along her cheek. “Belle,” he said.

Lips pinched, she whimpered slightly, and Blake’s fingers twitched at his side, desperate to take the man down. The leader reached his hand out, clamped it around Sara’s upper arm and jerked her forward.

Blake held his body in check, memorizing everything he could. The man had a small scar over his left eyebrow. He was only about five feet-eight inches tall, and as he swung Sara around in front of him, Blake could see a tattoo on the back of the man’s wrist.

The leader stepped toward the outside door, Sara’s arm still firmly in his grasp as he dragged her along.

“No!” she cried, attempting to dig her heels in. The leader had his gun pointed straight to her face, but that did not seem to stop her. When he swung the weapon toward the pregnant woman, Sara gasped, eyes wide.

Blake watched the instant realization hit her, and she stopped struggling. Her gaze swung around to him just as the men pushed through the door leading to the street. Wide-eyed. Terrified. Gaze boring straight into his.

Whirling, he shouted to the clerk, “Call the police!” To Stanley, still on the floor, he shouted, “Stay where you are!”

He rushed to the door, observing the thieves running down the sidewalk toward the beach, Sara still clutched by the arm, stumbling along. Unable to get a clear shot as they weaved amongst early hotel guests heading to the pool, he raced after them.

At first, he assumed they would make their getaway from the hotel’s parking lot, but instead, they continued down the path, past the swimming pool, toward the beach. Fear clutched his heart as he thought of a water escape, and he sped after them, the adrenaline pumping through his body giving him even greater speed.

In the distance, through the palm trees, he spied a small motorboat just offshore. The first two thieves raced into the water, their leader lagging behind as he continued to drag Sara along.

Lining up his shot, Blake halted as the leader whirled around, clutching Sara in front of his body with his own weapon pressed against her temple.

The man called out, “You shoot. She dead.”

Blake knew that he could easily take out the two men in the motorboat, but he did not have a clear shot at the leader holding Sara. Hotel guests began screaming and racing around at the sight of men with guns, some running through his line of fire. Moving steadily forward as the leader backed away, he was determined to take down the man that dared to point a gun at Sara.

Ignoring the footsteps he heard coming from behind him, he was soon surrounded by French Guiana police, some with their guns pointed toward the thieves and others with their weapons trained on him.

“Pose ton arme!” came the shout.

“American,” he called out, his gun still aimed at the leader, who was now dragging Sara into the water.

“Put down weapon!” one of the policemen shouted.

“There are the thieves! They’ve got a hostage!” he retorted, his weapon still held on the boat, cursing that he could not get the right shot.

Several of the policemen fired their weapons toward the boat, and Blake shouted, “Stop! They’ve got a hostage!”

“Arrêtez-vous!” the policeman speaking broken English shouted. “La femme est un otage!”

Blake could only assume the policemen grasped the situation, but by this time, the leader had dragged Sara through the water, lifted her into the boat from the back side where he was protected from their weapons, and climbed aboard. The engine started, and the boat turned, heading toward the west.

Over the waves, he watched as she scrambled to sit up, her eyes pinned on him, and he heard her scream his name… a sound that he knew would haunt him forever.
Maryann Jordan. Blake – ARC copy – not for sale or distribution: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 424-472).

Let me say here that I was surprised at the reluctance of the police to help. It was only with Mace’s insistence that Blake was given an officer to assist and escort him where he needed to be. More back up would be coming in the form of Drew and Tate to get them safely home.

Blake and Sara are pursued down the Lawa River. Only to find they really are compatible and when all this is done they want to see where their relationship can go.

Fast-paced and emotional with plenty of action,  twists, plus romance and sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Maryann Jordan

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.

Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.

My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!

I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.

When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me!


newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Releasing Tomorrow! Our Time – Baytown Boys Book 11 by Maryann Jordan


Our Time
Baytown Boys Book 11
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Military duty called them away to war zones,
but after tours overseas,
the group of friends found their way back home as men,
seeking the peaceful little seaside town.
Now, the band of brothers, together once more,
work to provide a place
for less fortunate veterans to call home.

Colt Hudson, Sheriff of North Heron County, has little time for anything other than his job…and keeping an eye on the pretty waitress at The Diner.

Single mom, Carrie Beaumont has little time for anything other than her job, her son, taking care of her elderly neighbor…and harboring secret fantasies about the handsome Sheriff.

When a fire in her neighbor’s home forces them out, Colt comes to the rescue. After all, his big empty house is in dire need of a ready-made family.

As they give in to the attraction and their friendship turns to love, a string of thefts leads to a investigation that her son stumbles into.

Keeping his newly found family together, and safe, is just what Colt lives for. Protecting her son and the man of her dreams is what Carrie fights for.

Note:
Scenes and Language similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie. 18+ only.

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We’ve seen Colt in the previous books, now we get to know him. He’s the North Heron Sheriff a position he’s had since he returned five years ago. It’s a time consuming position and that’s just one of his excuses for not asking Carrie out.

Carrie is a single mother working at Joe’s Place a popular diner in Easton. She moved here with her mother about ten years ago. She knew of Colt before he walked in the door and pretty much knocked the breath out of her with his stunning good looks. It’s a friendship of sorts, but she looks forward to seeing him every morning for breakfast just as much as he looks forward to her smile.

There’s also Jack, Carrie’s son, he’s an intelligent fun loving child who has grown up with plenty of love around him. I love the interactions with him and Colt. It’s pretty obvious from the start that not only is Colt more than a little interested in Carrie, he also cares a great deal for Jack.

This is a favorite scene.

“I got some time to sit down.”

She blinked for a second, forgetting what she had asked. “Well, good, because we kept your place open. Have a seat, and I’ll be right there.” Her gaze stayed on the back of him as he walked away, heading toward the far stool at the counter. He was the only man that she thought the back view of him was almost as good as the front, and she sucked in a quick breath before letting it out slowly.

“You’d better stop drooling,” BettyJo said as she walked by, a sparkle in her eyes.

Wondering what on earth was wrong with her, she gave a mental shake, fetched a few more plates to deliver to tables, and headed behind the counter. Giving Joe the order for Colt, she caught sight of the big yellow school bus pulling into the parking lot.

Colt must have seen her staring because he swiveled on his stool and looked out the window as well. “Already?”

Nodding, she replied, “The kids have some half days here at the end of the school year.”

They both watched as the door to the school bus opened, and a dark-haired boy hopped down. He shifted his backpack around, then waved to the bus driver and his friends. He then turned and hustled to the front door of the diner, and she could not help but grin as the bell rang and the boy walked in.

He looked around, met her gaze, and grinned widely as well. He walked straight over to the counter and called out, “Hi, Mom!” The boy hopped up on the stool next to Colt and said, “Hey, Sheriff Hudson.”

“Hey, Jack. You’re out of school awfully early.”

“It’s almost the end of the school year! Yesterday we had a field day. Today we had a party. And tomorrow, we help our teacher get the room ready for the summer cleaning.”

“When are you going to get any learning done?” Colt asked, lifting an eyebrow, pretending to scowl.

Carrie watched as Jack threw his head back and laughed. “We’ve already had our state assessments, and I passed them with flying colors. I think I’ve had enough learning for one year, don’t you think?”

She rolled her eyes. “If you’re so smart, how come you haven’t given me a hug since coming in?”

Jack got up on his knees, balancing on the stool, and leaned over the counter, and she bent forward. She felt his arms wrap around her neck, and she closed her eyes, knowing that was the best feeling in the world. She also knew that the day when he would want to hug his mom in public was soon coming to an end.

With his arms still around her, she opened her eyes and was surprised to see Colt’s face so close, his gaze penetrating as he stared at the two of them. Not being able to read that look, she pulled back after giving Jack a quick kiss on his forehead. That must have pushed the limit because he wiped his forehead and complained, “Mom!”

Soon, she delivered Colt’s lunch to him, also setting a plate in front of Jack. Mavis and Joe had called out to him from the back, and he waved with excitement.

“Just so you know, Jack, Grandma is taking her neighbor to the library this afternoon, and she’ll come by and pick you up when she’s finished. Until then, you’re stuck with me.”

Jack cut his eyes toward Colt and said, “There are worse places I could be stuck. At least here, I get to have some of Mavis’ apple pie when I want to.”

Colt chuckled. “Sounds like you’ve got quite a deal going on here.”

“It’s great! I get as much food as I want, and they love me here.”

Placing her fists on her hips, Carrie said, “Boy, you might get Mavis’ apple pie, but you’re going to work for it. As soon as the lunch crowd thins, you’re going to help wipe down tables and see what else you can do.”

Jack shook his head and looked at his mom before cutting his eyes back over to Colt. “Sheriff, isn’t there something about making kids work for their food?”

Colt adopted a serious expression and said, “I think we can trust your mother to make sure you’re not overworked.” Leaning in closer, he whispered loudly, “But, Jack, if you ever think I need to investigate your mom, you let me know.”

Rolling her eyes again, she tried to ignore the thrill that shot through her at the idea of Colt investigating her. Deciding to walk away before she did something foolish like ask him to frisk her and pull out his handcuffs, she headed around the room, checking on her customers, determined to get her mind back on her job. The only problem was that she kept looking back over to the corner of the counter, seeing the best man she had ever met, laughing and talking with her son, who was her favorite person in the whole world. And she smiled.
Maryann Jordan. Our Time (Arc copy): Baytown Boys (Kindle Locations 297-299).

As Carrie signs up Jack for summer activities, Colt and the deputies start investigating a rash of burglaries. When one of the victims is Carrie’s neighbor, it seems things start heating up in more ways than one.

Another great story surrounding Baytown and all the characters within. I laughed, cried, held my breath and sighed more than a couple of times.

I really can’t wait for the next book, I am truly addicted to this town and its inhabitants.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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Zeke – Heroes at Heart Book 7 By Maryann Jordan


Zeke
Heroes at Heart Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

The true measure of a man
is not in the mistakes he makes…

but in how he handles those mistakes.

Zeke left the Army and joined his brother’s bar, Grimm’s, as a bouncer before convincing Zander to open a restaurant next door. Now, as co-owner of Grimm’s Bar and Grill, he shared his success by working as a cook at the local homeless shelter.

One night, he sees a woman seeking shelter and is captivated by the smile she offers when she is in such need.

Cynthia works at Prince Hotel as a cleaner but lost her housing when she had excessive medical bills. With Zeke’s help, she manages to get back on her feet and discover love with the handsome man.

At work, things are looking up when the owner takes an interest in her and offers her a job as his assistant. But all things that glitter are not gold, and Cynthia discovers that her life with Zeke is the true fairy tale.

Note:
A Heroes at Heart novel based loosely on the fairy tale, Cinderella.
Themes, language, and adult situations are similar to an R-rated movie. For 18+ years.

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I loved the way this book started with a look into the past when Zeke first arrives at Miss Ethel’s. It progresses into his school years and his love for the Cinderella story, all of them not just the ‘Disney’ version.

In the present we see Zeke and Zander as they prepare to venture into opening a second Grimm’s. They’ve found the perfect location for it and things will start moving quickly.

After announcing their news at dinner at Miss Ethel’s Zeke hangs back from leaving sensing she wants to speak with him. I love Miss Ethel’s wisdom and this is one of my favorite scenes.

If you are reading this series you will recall Asher is very active with the homeless, particularly one shelter. Zeke has made it a habit to prepare breakfast at this shelter before heading into Grimm’s for meal prep there. After visiting with Miss Ethel, Zeke heads to the shelter to see if he needs to bring in anything for the next day’s breakfast.

He held back as Miss Ethel took him by the hand, and they walked over to two of the rockers on the front porch. Making sure she was settled first, he moved to the rocker next to her, finding the movement to be soothing.

“I could tell you wanted to talk to me,” he said, his lips curving into a smile.

She took a moment as though gathering her thoughts, her gaze drifting out over her yard before moving back to his face. “I’m very proud of you Zeke,” she said.

Her words soothed through him as they always had, and he knew that pleasing her would always bring that kind of satisfaction.

“I’m proud of all my boys,” she continued. “The men you are. The success you have.”

He held her gaze and said, “You do know that we owe it all to you, Miss Ethel?”

She waved her hand dismissively in front of her and said, “Oh, posh. I don’t deny that I’ve had a hand in helping each of you, but the brotherhood you formed has given each of you individual as well as collective strength.”

Agreeing, he said, “Yes, and you’re the one that gave us that brotherhood. You created a family out of a bunch of boys who didn’t know anything about family.”

They were quiet for a moment, and he added, “I wasn’t sure it would work for me.”

Her face scrunched slightly, the wrinkles settling deeper. “I don’t understand what you mean.”

“You got the others when they were much younger. Me? I was already thirteen years old. An angry thirteen-year-old. I could have already been beyond help.”

She continued rocking and did not immediately refute his statement. Finally, she said, “There was already something in you, learned from your parents. You know, we sometimes learn how to act from our parents, but we also learn how we don’t want to act. By the time you came to me, yes, you were angry. Angry at life, and angry at your mom for leaving, and your dad for not controlling his temper. But unlike your dad, you didn’t turn that anger outward on others. You had already learned to control it, and I just simply gave you a good family to focus on.”

They continued rocking for a moment, and then she finally spoke again. “I worry that you’re taking on too much work.”

This time he grinned, those words being what he expected to hear from her. “We all work hard,” he said. “You always worked hard.”

“Yes, but your brothers have found that there’s more to life than work. They found love as well.”

Ruefully shaking his head back and forth, he said, “I’m not opposed to that, Miss Ethel. I figure I’ll know it when it hits me.”

With that, her laughter burst forth, and she said, “It’s true. Sometimes we don’t always know when love comes our way. I just hope you’ll be open to it when the opportunity presents itself.”

“I’m no prince,” he said. “I’m just a hard-working man, and it’ll take a special woman to see that.”

“Your brothers found it. You’ll find it, too.” She smiled then said, “Remember Robert Browning? ‘I was made and meant to look for you and wait for you—”

“And become yours forever,” they finished together, his smile matching hers.

She spoke with such conviction, and considering she always seemed to know things, he could not dismiss her words. They continued to rock in companionable silence for a few more minutes before he finally said, “I’m going to head on out, Miss Ethel. I want to go by the homeless shelter this evening to see if there’s anything special I needed to get for the breakfast service tomorrow.”

He assisted her to stand, then wrapped his arms around her and felt hers wrap around his waist in return. She was not quite as tall as she used to be, her frame slightly thinner. But her hug contained the same fierceness of love and protection as it had many years ago.
Maryann Jordan. Zeke: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 393-423).

If you are reading this series you will recall Asher is very active with the homeless, particularly one shelter. Zeke has made it a habit to prepare breakfast at this shelter before heading into Grimm’s for meal prep there. After dinner and a chat with Miss Ethel, Zeke heads to the shelter to see if he needs to bring in anything for the next day’s breakfast.

Cynthia arrived at the shelter late, and drenched from the rain and nervous. She had never been to a shelter, but it was much safer than the alternatives. When Zeke moves to help her with her bags, he realizes he’s a stranger would be scaring her, but there’s an attraction he can’t refute.

I love the way this story progresses, it’s a slow building romance where trust needs to be built, and leads to some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Maryann Jordan

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.

Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.

My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!

I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.

When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me!


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