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Jaden – Hathaway House Book 10 By Dale Mayer


Jaden
Hathaway House Book 10
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center. Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love.

Jaden Hancock knows that things could be a lot worse. He still has two arms and two legs, even if one of his legs is so badly damaged it’s virtually useless. And it’s not that he isn’t willing to work toward recovery — it’s just hard to see the lack of progress even after weeks of therapy. While he knows that he needs to accept the current state of his body, that acceptance feels like giving up. And he’s not prepared to do that.

Brianna Kole crossed the country to get away from her old life. As the newest member of the staff at Hathaway House, she’s polite but not overly friendly. The last thing she wants is to get attached and to risk getting hurt again. But, in spite of her reservations, she and Jaden gravitate to each other as the two newcomers to the facility. After that, it isn’t long before Brianna’s questioning her feelings… and his.

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I’m really loving how as we meet new people, both as patients and staff, we also love how they find the healing they need at Hathaway House.

In this book Jaden and Brianna are both new to Hathaway House. Jaden as a patient and Brianna as a relief nurse.

Jaden was inspired by Iain’s recovery to apply to Hathaway House. His time at the VA Hospital has reached a point where he is not progressing and he really wants to be better.

Brianna is a caring nurse, who came to the area for a new beginning. Her position at Hathaway House was to be a relief nurse. That has quickly turned to full time hours and Dani offers her a full time position and one of the apartments on site.

This is a favorite scene as Jaden and Brianna meet for the first time.

She drove carefully toward where the apartments were, then took her assigned parking spot and started unloading everything. She was more than delighted to live here. As she took out her last load, she looked up to see one of the men on the deck above, outside the cafeteria area. She waved a hand and called out, “Good evening.”

“Good evening,” he said back. She quickly dropped off that last box to her new apartment and then made her way closer to him, standing on the grass below the upper deck. “Did I miss dinner?”

“I don’t think so,” he said. “But I just arrived today, so I’m not sure.”

She raced up the stairs and recognized him as one of the men who had had the ice cream earlier. She smiled at him. “If you’re up for some company,” she said, “I’ll see if I can grab some food first before my time runs out and then join you.”

His eyebrows popped up, and he nodded. “Absolutely,” he said. “I’m just finishing.”

“Good. Can I get you anything while I’m there?” She turned to look at him as she walked slightly backward to the cafeteria line.

“I might come and get seconds in a bit,” he said. “Go ahead and get yours first.”

She raced up to see Dennis standing there, cleaning up a lot of the trays. “Did I miss out?”

“Some of it’s gone, but we always have something to offer,” he said. “What would you like?”

“Just give me a plate of goodness,” she said.

He nodded and served her a massive amount of a beautifully unique salad. It had chickpeas and olives, and it looked like a variation of a Greek salad with skewers of meat and some beautiful rice, yellow in color, with vegetables and maybe raisins too, but she didn’t quite know for sure. With that cursory glance, she put it on her tray, grabbed a bottle of water and some cutlery, and headed to where the guy was who she’d talked to earlier.

As she placed her tray down, she said, “Thanks for offering to share your table.”

“I think here,” he said, “we all share.”

She smiled, nodded, and said, “I’m Brianna, by the way.”

“Jaden,” he offered. “And I literally just arrived today, so I don’t know anything about the place.”

“And I arrived almost four weeks ago,” she said with a conspiratorial look. “So we’re both newbies.”

“Wow,” he said. “Yet you act like you’re very comfortable here.”

“I am to a certain extent,” she said. “But now I just moved into one of the resident apartments, and that’s made my life a little easier.”

“I’m sure it went well then,” he said. “You work here?”

“Oh, sorry,” she said, as she paused and looked at him. She gave a shake of her head. “Yes, I’m one of the nurses. I was part-time, but now I’m full-time.”

“Good for you,” he said. “Well, obviously I’m one of the patients.”

She smiled and nodded. They ate in companionable silence, and then suddenly Dennis was at her side. “Jaden, how are you doing?”

Jaden looked up at him and smiled. “I think I’m good,” he said.

“Do you want any more dessert or other food?”

“I think I’m full. That traveling is likely to upset my system as it is.”

“Got it,” he said. Dennis took away his plate as well as the rest of his cutlery. “Do you want anything else to drink now?”

Jaden shook his head. “I’ll probably crash after this.”

“Good enough,” he said. He looked over at Brianna. “How are you doing?”

“I’m doing great,” she mumbled around a chunk of meat that she’d popped off from the skewer and into her mouth.

Dennis grinned and took off.

“Is everybody this friendly?” Jaden asked. “I came from an institution where people speak in whispers, low voices, and everyone doesn’t want to disturb anybody.”

“It’s not like that here at all,” she said.

Just then came several barks.

Jaden turned in surprise to see an older man and a great big Newfoundlander walking toward the edge of the deck. The dog stopped beside Jaden and woofed. Jaden reached out a hand, and the dog immediately came closer, looking for ear scratches.

The older man looked at him, smiled, and said, “I’m the Major,” he said. “Dani is my daughter.”

Jaden smiled, reached out a hand, and shook it, whereas Brianna stared at him.

“Wow,” Brianna said. “You’re the one she started this for.”

“Yep, in a way,” he said. “Although I’d say both of us started this.”

Brianna immediately felt embarrassed. “I just heard rumors,” she rushed in to save her mistake.

He lifted a hand. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “What we’ve built, we’ve built. But she has carried it on.” He reached down, scratching the dog on her head. “This is Helga. She’s around all the time too.”

Both of them stopped for a moment to give her a cuddle, but Helga now stared and sniffed at the meat on Brianna’s plate.

“Just remember to never feed any of the animals around here,” the Major said. “Most of them have stomach issues over the more obvious physical ones, and too much human food just causes them more trouble.”

“I’ve heard about that,” Brianna said, giggling, “but Helga is not listening to you.”

The Major gave a shout of laughter. “No, she’s not, but I’ll take her for a walk along the paddocks to distract her and to get her away from this temptation.” And he called Helga to his side, and the two descended the stairs and took off toward the fenced-in area. Several of the horses came wandering over to see the Major. He talked with a few of them and then kept going toward the others.

“It’s beautiful here,” she said dreamily.

“It is,” he said. “For you, it’s home and work. For me, it’s a place to rest and to heal and then to move on.”

“A small distinction,” she said, “but one that is very important.”

“Exactly,” he said with half a smile. “And, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll head to my room now.” And he slowly pushed his wheelchair back from the table, pivoted, and headed inside to the cafeteria and beyond.
Dale Mayer. Jaden (Kindle Locations 366-418). Valley Publishing Ltd..

While Brianna and Jaden do hit it off, there are some conversations that have me shaking my head. Brianna is a caring nurse but perhaps too much so for the patients here. She needs to come to terms with a lot of things, including the fact that pain is regretfully a part of the healing process.

I really love the journeys to healing these two have. For Jaden it’s physical and mental, and for Brianna it’s personal growth and understanding.

The interactions with Shaun are interesting and informative and I really loved getting more insight into Dennis. The animals are also an integral part here and much fun to see and get to know.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Miles – The Mavericks Book 7 By Dale Mayer


What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:

The Mavericks
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.

Welcome to a new military romance series by USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. A series where you meet new friends and just might get to meet old ones too in this raw and compelling look at the men who keep us safe every day from the darkness where they operate—and live—in the shadows … until someone special helps them step into the light.

Miles
The Mavericks Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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When his call came,
the mission was the opposite of what he expected…

Returning to his hometown of London, UK, was a happy surprise, until he realized what—and who—was involved. Out of his comfort zone when dealing with women sold into sexual slavery or even “collected,” regardless Miles was determined to dig in deep, when he realized he knew the latest kidnapped victim. A woman who’d touched him years earlier. To think she might be suffering at the hands of a deranged serial kidnapper or, worse, could be sold in some human trafficking ring…

Vanessa, tied up and blindfolded, has no idea why she’d been kidnapped. She does her best to obey her captor, even as she plots her escape. Her hope is that she’s been reported missing and that the cops are looking for her. … They are, but so is someone else…

Keeping Vanessa safe at his side, Miles is taxed to the limit to unravel and to capture a serial killer who’s lain undetected for decades, disguised as a serial kidnapper…

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Miles is pleased to find his mission would take him to London. However, this mission is not quite what he expected and a bit out of his comfort zone. The missing woman was very familiar to him as well. While he’d never met her he’d been drawn to the images of her for years, falling just a bit in love with her.

Mile’s friend Nico is his partner on this case that both MI6 and Scotland Yard were interested in. It was Nico who has discovered a pattern that spans seventeen years of missing red haired women. Worse they think the man responsible may be military.

When we first see Vanessa she is bound and sensory deprived by a blindfold and something covering her ears. She knows she’s been drugged from the fogginess she feels. All she can remember is being on her way to a photo shoot that was within walking distance of her flat. What she does know is she has to figure out someway to escape her situation even if someone is looking for her.

Vanessa does manage to outsmart her kidnapper and her getaway wasn’t easy or without injury.

This is a favorite scene.

Miles’s phone rang as they raced toward their interview. He answered it and said, “Yeah, what’s up?”

“Disturbance at,” and he was given an intersection, which Miles immediately punched into the car’s GPS, and then Nico pulled the vehicle into a U-turn in the middle of the street with screeching tires all around them. The caller continued, “A woman just escaped, saying she’d been kidnapped. She’s hurt, but she got herself out. An ambulance is at the scene right now, and we think it’s her.”

“Her?”

“Vanessa,” the voice said. “You need to get there fast. A crowd has gathered, and it’s chaos.”

“We’re on the way,” Miles said. “Be there in five.”

“Faster than that,” Nico said.

Miles put down his phone and looked at Nico. “Well, remember what I said about how Vanessa needs to be aware and paying attention and to stand on her own two feet? It looks like she did this rescue job all on her own,” he said with a proud smile.

Nico nodded and returned his smile, then called the police station, canceling their two interviews and asking for a plainclothes detective to follow both interviewees until further notice and hung up.

As they reached the scene, the ambulance pulled away.

Nico asked Miles, “Do you want to follow her to the hospital or get details from the scene?”

“I want both,” he said. “Drop me off here, and you go after the ambulance.” Then he quickly approached a few people and asked them for details. The gist of it was, she’d climbed out a window, dropped onto a mattress on the ground and then got hit by a car but got back up again. As she was leaving, her captor came after her. Miles didn’t hear anything new or different as the cops took official statements. On that note, Miles headed toward the hospital on foot, taking another fifteen minutes to get there.

As he walked in through the front doors, he texted Nico and asked where he was.

The answer came back immediately.

Emergency.

Miles joined him there and asked, “Any idea how badly hurt she is?”

“Not so bad that she has to stay much longer than maybe overnight, yet not so good that she can be alone,” Nico said quietly. “The blow from the vehicle hit her pretty severely. She’s got abrasions and bruising all along her lower abdomen. She’s badly bruised her ribs but they aren’t broken. And her ankle? We don’t know if it’s broken or just sprained at this point in time.”

“From the jump out of the window?”

“It’s possible. Or from the car hitting her? I don’t think anybody really knows yet. She’s unconscious.”

“That’s not good,” Miles said. “Head injury?”

“They don’t know. None of the bystanders could say, and, when the emergency personnel arrived on scene, Vanessa came around, but she couldn’t say either. She passed out almost immediately as soon as they started working on her.”

“Which means it’s likely a concussion,” Miles said with a nod. “Can I see her?”

“She’s already in a private hospital room, probably awaiting tests or the results. They’re not letting anybody in right at the moment,” Nico said, pointing at her room.

Miles snorted at that and, when he stepped inside, found one nurse at Vanessa’s side.

“Only family is allowed here,” the nurse said.

He walked straight to Vanessa on the hospital bed and picked up her hand, then immediately held it against his cheek. “And fiancés,” he whispered. God, he hated to see the flaxen look to her skin. Her expression was not a calm stillness but instead an almost stirred sense of being in a panic mode underneath. He cupped her cheek and whispered, “It’s okay now. You’ll be just fine.” He leaned over and kissed her gently, brushing the hair off her freckles, knowing this was real, not some act.

Then he turned to the nurse, glared and barked, “How bad is it?”

She smiled at him. “Not so bad. She’ll survive. She took quite a blow.”

“She’s incredibly resilient,” he said, squeezing Vanessa’s fingers lightly. He glanced at her ankle and frowned. He could see the swelling already evident. “I don’t like to look of that,” he muttered. The alignment was good, but it was pretty well black and blue already.

“No, but considering some of her other injuries,” the nurse said, “the ankle will heal fast enough.”

“Do we have X-rays back yet?”

“No, not yet,” she said. “We just got her back from X-ray though, so at least she can rest undisturbed for now. We’re waiting on the results.”

He pulled up a chair and sat, then dropped his forehead to her arm and held his position while the nurse left. At that point, he lifted his head and stared at the beautiful woman on the bed, then whispered, “That was an incredibly brave and very risky thing you just did. And I’m so grateful you did it.” He knew she would be as well, if and when she ever woke up, but, at the moment, she was struggling. She was unconscious and showing no signs of coming back. Or, at least, he didn’t think so.

But then she opened her eyes, looked at him and asked, “Who the hell are you?”

He grinned at her and whispered, “For now I’m your fiancé.”

She shook her head, her eyes diamond hard. “I don’t have one,” she said. “And I’ve had enough of strange men determining who and what I am in life to them.”

He nodded and whispered, “Special Ops. Came here to rescue you, only to find out you had rescued yourself.”

Hearing that, her demeanor changed a bit. That or it could be the meds she was on too.

“No,” she said, struggling, her eyes closing on her. “He said he’d come after me. I’m not out of danger.” She gripped his hand hard. “Please don’t let him get me again.”

Then her eyes closed, and she was out cold once more.
Dale Mayer. Miles (Kindle Locations 678-725). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Miles meets Vanessa at the hospital, proclaiming himself to be her fiancé to be able to sit with her. When Vanessa regains consciousness Miles lets her know she is safe and he will keep her that way. It’s not until later, when she’s more coherent, that they realize she has seen her kidnapper and is still in danger.

This is a fast-paced, nail-biting tale full of intrigue, suspense and a simmer to sizzle romance.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Tyson’s Treasure – Heroes For Hire Book 11 By Dale Mayer


Tyson’s Treasure
Heroes for Hire Book 11
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Tyson lost his wife and child several years ago, and he knows it’s time to move on… So when his wife’s best friend barrels into his new life and he finds out she’s in trouble – as in serious stalker trouble – he steps up because he owes it to his late wife. Only he quickly finds out he wants to be at Kai’s side – any way he can.

Kai has wanted Tyson for so damn long, but from the first moment her best friend saw him first, the two were like a lock and key. When Kai sets her eyes on him for the first time in years while doing a demonstration for a new training program her company developed, she realizes her feelings haven’t changed.

But her life has changed, and she has a huge issue she doesn’t want anyone to know about. After all, she’s got a badass skill set… She can handle a stalker on her own… right?

Or maybe not. As the two delve deeper into the Kai’s troubles, they find out things are much more complicated than they seem – and much more deadly.

 

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At the recommendation and encouragement of Michael, Tyson has joined the ranks of Levi and Ices’ Legendary Security. He is one of the new guys along with his friend Jace.

It’s been two years since Tyson lost his wife and child and he feels finally ready to move forward with his life. Maybe even find love again. He was a bit puzzled when Kai appeared at the compound, not only challenging him but all the others on the mats. Kai had been a Martial Arts instructor in the Army but had moved to the private sector. When she she reveals the new ‘toys’ he understands and shares the excitement of the group.

Kai enjoys showing off the new things developed by her company, she leaves the compound anticipating a lunch meeting the next day. She also has a problem, a stalker and so far the police have no leads. Kai hoped she managed to mask her feelings when she got a text from the guy while wrapping things up. She didn’t want Levi and Ice to worry.

That’s all going to change though, the latest texts and emails from her stalker indicated he know where she lives and that she was at the compound. When Detective Mannford calls Levi to verify, it puts them on the case. Lunch is going to be very interesting.

A tracker on her vehicle and one in her phone explain a lot, but also opened up a lot of questions. Levi and Ice start with her contacts, but also realize more is going to be needed.

This is a favorite scene.

Kai reached for her phone and looked through her Contacts.

Levi said, “Don’t worry about those. Everybody on that list we’ll take a good look at.”

She raised her gaze and studied him. “Really?”

His voice was hard when he said, “Really.”

She shook her head and said, “Well, I don’t have anybody else to add to this then. The men here in my Contacts will all be business acquaintances or friends. If they aren’t listed here, I don’t have contact with them.”

“Then tell us who or what they are, what their relationship is to you.”

“That I can do.”

The waitress brought menus while they continued to work. Kai ordered the Caesar salad and didn’t hear the rest the conversation as she tried to make sense of the long list.

She stared at one name in particular.

Rob Goring. “I have no idea who this is.” She glanced from one to the other. “I know a lot of people are on this list, but this one doesn’t ring a bell. Neither does Ben Jones or Thomas Getty.”

“Well, put them down with an asterisk beside their names. We’ll start with them,” Levi said.

She stared at him in surprise. “Why?”

“He had your phone long enough to put a tracker in it. It would take about ten seconds to put his name or a half-dozen names into the Contact list.”

“Sure, but why bother?”

“To make it look like you were friends already, from a cop’s point of view or a boyfriend’s too. Or to make it look like you had a lot of men in your Contacts list. And, before you ask why again, just think of all the ugly reasons he’d do that. Including making it look like you deserve whatever is coming to you. There is logic in his actions. Just because we don’t know what it is, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

Her stomach got a sickly sense; her skin crawled at the back of her neck. She stared down at her phone and said, “I don’t think I can eat lunch now.”

“It’s more important than ever.”

She gazed at Tyson in anger. “I don’t like where you’re going with that.”

“You’ve got training. You know how bad things can get.”

Her breath gusted out along with some hard memories from her training and the years she’d spent in the military. His words were damn true. But leaving that world behind had been a whole lot easier than she had thought. She’d expected to feel strange and uncomfortable, but she’d thrown off that life with joy. The old Kai didn’t fit the new Kai. Trying to crawl back into that skin didn’t work easily.

“You’re also never to be alone anymore.”

“I don’t trust anybody, other than you guys. But I can’t impose on you for help.”

“Stop,” Ice said. “This isn’t a job. You’re our friend.”

“It’s not that easy. You guys will put a ton of man-hours into this in the end. Who’ll reimburse you for all that?” she asked. Inside she was horrified—and her heart warmed—at their offer of help.

“I’d tell you how we take on pro bono cases all the time,” Levi said, “but I know that would piss you off. On the other hand, I want you pissed off. I want you angry. I want you to look at this guy and see him for what he is. He’s a creep, trying to ruin your life. Yet, you need to stay calm. You need to be in control. And you need to make sure that fear never, ever is in the front-row seat again.”

Getting her head wrapped around this wasn’t easy. Suddenly her neighbor’s face popped up. “Steve Rossi. He has the apartment across from me. Henry…” She thought about it for a moment longer. “Henry Springer?” She frowned. “He was a supply clerk. He was always just kind of”—she looked over at Ice and shrugged—“creepy.”

“Good. Keep going.”

Accepting what she needed to do, she managed to add another half-dozen names to the list. When the waitress returned with their food, she put down her pen. “It seems stupid because these men have nothing to do with me now.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” Levi said, accepting the plate from the waitress. “But somebody does.”

“I can set up surveillance,” Tyson offered.

“What kind of surveillance?” Kai asked.

“It would be nice to see the action outside on your street.”

“We checked with Detective Mannford about the city cameras, but they are only on the main traffic intersections and not on the residential side streets. Not only that, but the front of your apartment building is hidden by large trees so any city-street cameras would have a hard time capturing a clear picture. It’s an older building with standard security, not one with a high-end camera system in the hallways, elevators or stairwells, so a dead end there too,” Tyson said.

She stared at him. “You’re ready to set up something now?”

He nodded.

She took a bite of her salad. “We could set up a camera inside my vehicle. That might show if somebody is near it and gets inside. The chances are they’d have a key already made.”

“When you take it home, park it and leave it there.”

She raised an eyebrow. “I still have to get to work and have a lot of things to do around town.”

He nodded. “We brought in two vehicles. One has been loaded with sensors to pick up other electronics. So you can drive that for the next week or so, and we’ll see if somebody tries to penetrate the vehicle or track you again.”

“This is hardly fair,” she protested. “You guys are taking on way too much.” She looked around but only saw hard faces. She shrugged. “Okay, but keep track of what you spend,” she said. “I’ll see what I can pay back over time.”

“We’d rather take it out of our pocketbook than out of your hide,” Ice said.

Kai realized just how good a friend this group had ended up being. She glanced at Tyson to see his hard dark eyes locked on hers. When he gave a clipped nod, she realized he included himself in that group. And she smiled this time, a warm welcoming smile and said, “Thank you.”
Mayer, Dale. Tyson’s Treasure: A SEALs of Honor World Novel (Heroes for Hire Book 10) . Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (692-741). Kindle Edition.

Having Tyson with her twenty-four seven was going to be a challenge for her. She’s always had feelings for him, but she never acted on them because her best-friend and Tyson clicked so fast and so perfectly. She too had struggled with the loss of her friend.

An uneasy camaraderie leads to laughter and intimacy. A development that took them a bit by surprise but felt so right.

The stalker begins to escalate and then everything starts heating up, including her business partnership and not in a good way.

Lots of intrigue, suspense, surprises and the sizzling heat of Kai and Tyson’s relationship kept me turning the pages.

I am already starting the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

 

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Dakota’s Delight – Heroes for Hire Book 9 By Dale Mayer


Dakota’s Delight
Heroes for Hire Book 9
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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When a young woman darts into traffic and into Dakota’s path, life takes a dark turn for both of them.

Bailey, recovering from the loss of her husband, retreated from life. Going to work and coming home was the extent of her days and weeks. Until she walks into work early one morning, witnesses a murder and flees into traffic, nearly getting killed.

The near death experience awakens the spark of life inside of her. So does the man in the car. A different kind of a spark.

For her safety, Dakota persuades her to move into the compound with him and the rest of the Legendary family while they track down the killers.

Bailey is forced to accept Dakota’s help. But can she stay safe long enough for the police to track down the killer? Or is the man who almost ran her over going to steal her heart?

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Dakota is running errands for the compound when a women runs out in front of his truck. With rain coming down as it was he was lucky he didn’t hit her hard. The surprising thing is she ran away from him refusing help. Dakota if course is having none of that and follows her.

Bailey doesn’t want to tell him anything, but when he ends up taking her home she felt safer about not being overheard. What she tells him leads to him taking a closer look at her injuries and he discovers she had indeed been shot. Her stumbling most likely saved her life.

A hospital visit, a word with a detective Ice sends, and a couple more errands later has them arriving at the compound. Ice quickly gets her settled and everyone gets to work while she rests.

This is a favorite scene once Bailey wakes.

Bailey opened her eyes, feeling overheated, forcing her to push back the blankets. Only to cry out. Every movement hurt. As she rolled over, her back pain flared up again. The painkillers had helped, and she sure hoped the antibiotics would take care of any other problems. The last thing she wanted was an infection and a fever from the injury.

Of course, if she’d known she would get shot, she would’ve changed her outfit. On that slightly humorous note, she tried to sit up, using the headboard to keep her back rigid. Finally she made it, gasping with pain. She sat there and looked around the room, pleased to see it had the air of a home not a hotel. A bathroom was right in front of her. The only problem was getting to it.

Considering how weak she was, she used the headboard to pull herself upright, and then, using the wall for support, she slowly made her way across to the bathroom.

After using the facilities, she winced at her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was a nightmare. She quickly tried to straighten it. She looked tired, but she couldn’t do much about that.

She wasn’t sure if she should stay here or go downstairs, not knowing the house rules. She didn’t mind staying in her room, but it was hardly polite.

Determined to not make anyone regret helping her out, she slowly reached for a bathrobe and placed it around her shoulders. She took a deep breath, waiting for the pain. At the very least, maybe she could say hi and then come back. She opened the door and stepped out into the hallway.

She didn’t have her purse or her cell phone, so she had no idea what time it was. She turned the corner and headed down a wider hallway. She marveled at the architecture reflected in this huge space—a whole lot of medieval castle elements. Seeing the elevator, she smiled. “I remember those.”

She stepped inside and read the numbers. She pushed the button for the ground floor and waited for it to take her downstairs. When the door opened again, she wasn’t sure where to go, but a lot of noise came from the right. She slowly made her way toward the commotion, taking another right, and ended up in a massive kitchen.

An older man prepped a single plate of food. He looked up; surprise crossed his face. Immediately he rushed over to her. “Are you sure you should be up?”

She reached out and grasped his hand. “I feel much better. I think it must be the painkillers,” she admitted.

He smiled, hooked her arm through his and said gently, “My name is Alfred. Come on. I’ll take you in to Dakota.”

He walked her slowly into the noisy dining room. She didn’t recognize anybody.

Alfred cleared his throat, and there was silence. Everyone turned to look her way. She retreated, but Alfred patted her hand. “Don’t you worry. You’ll fit right in, my dear. Everyone, this is Bailey. She’s awake and on her feet, even though she shouldn’t be.”

Dakota bounded up from the far side of the table and strode toward her. Relief washed through her at the sight of him. “There you are,” she cried.

He wrapped an arm carefully around her shoulders for support. “I thought you’d be asleep for hours yet.”

She smiled. “As much as I’d like to be back asleep, I’m awake. I wasn’t sure if I should stay in my room or come find you,” she confessed.

“You didn’t have to worry on that score. I’d planned to come check on you in a little bit.”

Ice stood, and her gaze traveled over Bailey, making a head-to-toe assessment of her condition.

Bailey smiled. “You have medical training by any chance?”

“Field variety but yes.”

Dakota slowly walked her around the dining table to an empty seat beside him.

“This has got to be the largest table I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“That’s because it’s four put together,” Levi said.

Bailey recognized a few of the faces now, but the others were all a blur from when Dakota had brought her here. “I’m sorry. I don’t remember most of you.”

Dakota pulled out the chair and helped her sit down. “How could you,” he joked. “They weren’t all here when you arrived.”

Seated, her back felt better. She smiled up at him with thanks and glanced around the table full of strange faces. “Thank you for the haven. My name is Bailey Hoskins,” she said more formally.

Dakota did the introductions, but the names came fast, and she knew she’d never remember them all. “It will take me a while to remember everyone,” she admitted.

“Don’t rush it,” a woman on the far side said. “By the time you figure it out, the rest of our team will be back, and you’ll be confused again. This is only half of us right now.”

Bailey knew her surprise showed on her face when the others chuckled. “Wow.” She turned to look at Dakota. “You said you worked for a security company?”

He nodded and pointed toward Ice and Levi. “It’s their company.”

Bailey looked over at the twosome and smiled. “So, it’s you I have to thank for the assistance.”

Ice said firmly, “No thanks required. It’s important you get back on your feet again.”

“Of course I really would like to know if you’re sure that the mayor was involved in the shooting,” Levi said, leaning forward. “He’s not my favorite person, so I won’t be too upset if he was.”

She winced. “It was him. I saw his face directly.”

Levi studied her for a long moment, then nodded. “Good enough for me.” He turned to Ice. “Another regime will fall.”

Ice chuckled. “This is just a miniregime.”

“I almost miss that. Toppling governments is a lot of work but fun.”

Bailey listened to the banter back and forth, but she wasn’t sure if they were joking or if they were serious. She figured it was a little bit of both.

Alfred arrived with a plate of food for Dakota. As soon as he set it down, he turned to Bailey. “May I get you a plate of the same?”

She glanced over at the roast beef and gravy and vegetables and could feel her mouth water. “Yes, please, if you have it to spare.”

Dakota chuckled. “If there’s one thing Alfred likes to do, it’s feed people. So it’s okay if he makes something fresh for you.”

She leaned over as Alfred walked away and whispered, “You’re lucky to have him.”

Dakota leaned back and said, “And we know it.”
Mayer, Dale. Heroes for Hire: Books 7-9 (pp. 465-469). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Lots of action in this one as the compound once again gets infiltrated. Taking down the man responsible for all this is complicated.

The close confines has Bailey helping Alfred out in the kitchen and making friends with the other women who live there.

Her relationship with Dakota also starts heating up, I do love a great simmer to sizzle.

The next book in this series was actually part of the first Silver SEALs Series and I’ve already read and reviewed it so the next one up will be Tyson’s Treasure.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Cat’s Pajama’s – Broken Protocols Book 2 by Dale Mayer


Cat’s Pajama’s
Broken Protocols Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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The future–
where protocols must never be broken–
is a very dangerous place indeed…

To save herself and her new lover, Dani Summerland agrees to marry Levi Blackburn. If not for the fact that the two of them are pawns in a game with no rule book, this might be a good thing for both of them.

Levi can’t believe how lucky he is. But someone is after Dani, and, until he finds out who that is, there can be no honeymoon bliss.

Dani is targeted with not a clue what the stalker wants. The bodies begin piling up behind them. Luckily, they’re not alone in their fight for survival. Dani’s talking, super-intelligent cat, Charmin Marvin, intends to save the day and his mistress so he can get back to his own chosen bliss–a much-needed cat nap.

NOTE:
Formerly Book 2 of the Charmin Marvin series.

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Lani and Liev are now married, in spite of the fact it was a way to protect her, they do seem to be in love. Of course there is no time to even enjoy their wedded bliss as the Council once again demands Liev’s presence. This time asking for everyone living with him to attend as well.

Despite that ruling when they arrive the clerk says only Liev was required and he was surprised when he was informed of the marriage.

Liev and Milo with their lawyer Hahn go in to face the council leaving Lani in the waiting area. Then things get interesting really quick.

Lani is sitting quietly and observing the people around her when she is approached by a woman, Gina Stewart is one of Hahn’s law partners. Unfortunately she appears to also be jealous of Lani. She gets a bit snarky but then leaves, only to return and snatch Lani from her seat and transport her.

Liev and Milo were done with the Council and their lawyer was annoyed, as they enter the waiting area Liev doesn’t see Lani. It’s then Milo gets a message from Charming Marvin. Dang that cat is showing more and more capabilities.

This is a favorite scene.

Milo gasped, then choked. “Incoming message. From Charming Marvin?”

Liev turned so he could see Charming’s feline face over Milo’s shoulder. “Lani is in trouble. Tracking … now on.”

“What the hell?” His words, even voiced low, caught the attention of curious passersby. Damn. The place was crowded. Still, their curiosity was a good reminder that anything they did and said was likely being recorded.

“Yeah, he’s good.” Milo clicked a few more buttons. “Got her. She’s at Hahn’s office.”

“How the hell …” Liev raced to the ports.

“Gina took her there,” Milo called out, running behind him.

He stepped into the port and appeared at Gina’s office, Milo right behind him.

And there was Lani.

She stared at him in shock. When she realized he was here in person, she raced toward him. He caught her in his arms and hugged her tightly. “It’s okay,” he murmured. “I’m here.”

She couldn’t stop shaking or burrowing closer. Her arms locked around his waist and wouldn’t let go. He held her close and continued to whisper comforting things in her ear. She was stiff and unyielding—terrified. He could just imagine … and hugged her closer.

“As you can see, she’s fine,” Gina snapped. “Lord, all this fuss over nothing.”

Milo came to Lani’s rescue first. “Really? You remove someone from the Council offices without anyone’s permission, including that of the woman you kidnapped, and you say it’s nothing?”

At the word kidnapping, Gina gasped, and Lani burrowed deeper into Liev’s embrace. “I did no such thing.” Gina stormed closer, her perfect face twisting in fury. “Lani was attracting attention. What did you expect me to do?”

“In what way was she attracting attention?” Liev asked, trying to keep his own rage under control. Which was hard as Lani burrowed closer.

“She sat so damn still. So perfect. Like a statue.” Gina snorted, disgust threading her voice. “She didn’t move, no comp, no nothing. Just an oddness that stood out.” She shrugged. “Then her ID started to flash. It was too close to the Missing Person’s Alert. Like, really?” Gina rolled her eyes. “I had to stop her from making a spectacle of herself.”

“So because she wasn’t you, you figured she was odd.” Milo mimicked her voice so perfectly that Liev had to bite back a grin. “And her ID could flash for any number of reasons.”

“It wasn’t so much that it flashed, it was the look of shock, horror, and confusion on her face that was so ridiculous.” Gina glared at them. “She was fine when I first saw her. So I left her alone. Only after I returned did I realize she was causing such a commotion.”

Milo narrowed his eyes. “And you couldn’t leave it alone. Not because she was garnering attention, but because you weren’t. For some reason, Liev married her, not you. She had him. You didn’t. It was all about jealousy, wasn’t it?” Milo snapped forward from his sixteen-year-old mental self with a wisdom beyond his years. “Liev partied with you, and you wanted more. He didn’t. Next thing you know, he shows up with this natural girl and is married to her.”

Gina’s voice turned cutting. “Go back to bed, Milo. It’s a little late for you to be up, isn’t it?”

Lani lifted her head from Liev’s chest and, in low tones, asked, “Can we go home now?”

He hugged her gently. To the others, he said, “You two can stay and fight if you want. I’m taking her back. She’s been sick and needs rest.”

“She could get that fixed. Playing on your sympathies, you know.” Gina raised both hands in frustration. “Whatever.” And she strode out of the room again.

Milo glared at her receding back. “Bitch.”

Lani giggled. “Glad to hear that word is still used nowadays.”

“Especially nowadays,” Milo said with a smile. “Let’s go home.”

“Yes, please. By the way,” she said, “how did you know I was here? Gina left a message on Hahn’s comp, or whatever that thing is, but I didn’t see her call you two.”

“That’s because she didn’t,” Liev said, loosening his arms and turning her gently, nudging her from the room.

Milo bounced on his heels to his toes.

“You aren’t going to believe what did happen.”

She twisted slightly to look him in the face. Liev kept her walking forward. “Why? What happened?” She looked up at Liev. “Hahn called you?”

Milo shook his head, almost dancing with glee now.

Liev gave a low and deep rumble of a laugh. “Charming Marvin told us.”

She came to a dead stop and stared at him. “What? Really?”

They both nodded.

Her sense of humor kicked in, and she giggled.
Mayer, Dale. Broken Protocols: Books 1-4. Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (2041-2075).Kindle Edition.

This is not the end of these attempts either, but bodies start showing up as well.

I love Charming Marvin and I definitely understand Lani’s frustration that her cat can do more than her. The talking does help a bit but the rest is just…well strange.

Lani is doing her best to adjust but then things get weird with their unregistered medical pod.

I couldn’t put this book down, things start happening fast and furiously as suspects start turning up dead.

There’s plenty of action, hold your breath moments, and some sizzling heat as we learn more about what’s going on.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Broken Protocols: Books 1-4!

Or Individually!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Saul’s Sweetheart – Heroes for Hire Book 8 By Dale Mayer


Saul’s Sweetheart
Heroes for Hire Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Helping a friend in need is never a wrong move. And Saul knows the value of his friends. When he’s called to find Benji’s missing brother, Daniel – he’s on it.

Only Daniel might be involved in something a lot darker than avoiding his brother’s phone calls. At least according to Rebel who’s been haunting Daniel’s apartment, looking for her missing girlfriend.

When the bodies start showing up, Rebel is terrified her friend will be next…

And that’s not something she’s going to sit by and allow. No matter if Saul thinks she should. He needs to get out of her way or she’ll run right over him. The trouble is, it doesn’t take long for her to realize he’d like that – and so would she.

Now if only they could save their friends…before the entire mess blows up and takes them all out.

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Benji, a friend from their old unit needs help. His brother Daniel has gone missing and Levi is sending a team to find out what happened to him. Saul, Merk, Stone and Dakota are the team sent in. What they didn’t expect was someone else staking out his apartment.

Rebel’s been watching Daniel’s apartment looking for any clue she can find about her friend Tammy’s disappearance. She was leaving Daniel’s and going home promising to call Rebel when she got there. She never called.

Saul is the one to catch up with Rebel and when they all start talking things start coming out that lead the guys to believe something a lot bigger is going on.

Tammy and Daniel were both programmers at the same company as Rebel, although she was in marketing and not privy to what they worked on. She’s taken time off to try to find Tammy and the guys are taking all the clues she has to heart.

Bodies start showing up as they get a strange text following that lead and now Saul is staying by her side.

This is a favorite scene.

Saul hadn’t wanted to leave the crime scene. He could only hope the police shared the information they found. He planned to go back in the daylight and see if he could find any evidence that Tammy had been in that building.

Plus he also would check out where the homeless man was known to hang out. Just because he was in the building at the end of his life did not mean Tammy had been there too. She could’ve been anywhere along his route. He could’ve taken the locket off her dead body for that matter. Or he could’ve seen it on the ground someplace where she might’ve been involved in a struggle. There were endless possibilities.

He drove to Rebel’s apartment. He knew the area well. He had friends living not too far from here. When he drove up in front of a large brick apartment building, he nudged her. “Is this your place?”

Startled, she looked at him, a dazed look in her eyes. “How did you know where I lived?”

“I heard you tell the policeman.”

She had a right to be suspicious. He just didn’t want her suspicious of him. She contemplated his answer; then she reached up and rubbed her face. “I’m sorry. I’m just not myself right now.”

He parked the vehicle, got out and walked around to her side of the car. She still sat in the passenger seat, staring at the building. She needed time to work through this. He opened her door and helped her to her feet. “Come on. Let’s get you inside.”

The Jeep pulled up behind him. Saul and Rebel walked up to the entranceway, and she punched in a security code into the keypad on the wall. The door unlocked in front of them. He pulled it open and held it for her to walk through. The other three men waited in the Jeep, watching. He gave them a half wave, walked her inside and to the elevator. He studied her carefully. He wasn’t sure she should be alone right now. “You have anybody you can call? Any other friends or family who could stay with you?”

She shook her head. “Only Tammy. I would call Tammy.”

Damn. That just triggered another memory of Tammy. Not that Rebel was likely to stop thinking about her best friend under these circumstances.

On the third floor the elevator door opened. He gently grasped her arm above the elbow, nudging her into the hallway. With the keys from her vehicle in his hand, he checked for an apartment key. Sure enough, he tried the door, and the selected key worked. He opened the door and led her inside.

And she froze. “What happened?”

His gaze sharpened. He kicked the door shut and put Rebel between him and the door. He pulled out his weapon with one hand and his phone with other, saying, “Get up here.”

He put away his phone and left her backed against the front door to search her destroyed apartment. He could see most of it from this vantage point but not enough to ease his concerns. Still, he had to leave her to do a full sweep. Her kitchen table and the kitchen drawers were tossed to the ground. The living room couch cushions had been slashed open. He noted all this while running a timeline through his head. Had Tammy been kidnapped? Had she told them about Rebel? Or had whoever killed or kidnapped Tammy known that she and Rebel were best friends? Did Daniel tell the kidnappers that? Or did the kidnappers/murderers find Rebel lurking around Daniel’s apartment building too, just like Saul and his team did? That alone revealed Rebel had some deep connection to Daniel and/or Tammy. Were the women best friends enough that Rebel would hold something for Tammy?

He hadn’t even thought to question Rebel on that last aspect. But, with Tammy and Daniel both being in IT, espionage was not an unlikely leap. The fact that Daniel was suspected of hacking into his employer’s system and creating coding errors somehow played together. Saul didn’t understand how yet, but he would.

He made a quick sweep of the tiny one-bedroom apartment. By the time he made it back to Rebel—still leaning against the door, her face stricken—a knock at the door made Rebel jump. Saul checked the peephole and then let his friends in.

They stepped inside, took one look and Stone let out a low whistle. “Well, this is an interesting development.”

Something about his tone of voice and wording caught Rebel’s attention. She turned on him. “Interesting? This is interesting for you? This is destructive. This is horrific. This is my entire life here.”

Stone looked at her pointedly. “And yet, you’re alive. So they knew you weren’t here. They went through your property, went through all your possessions. What were they looking for?”

Saul watched her face go blank.

Then her jaw dropped. “You think they were looking for something?”

She shook her head in bewilderment. “Looking for what?” she cried out. “I don’t have anything. Hell, Tammy made way more money than I did. Why would they not destroy her place instead?” She stared at the men, her gaze going from one to the other and then back again. “Why me?”

Dakota stepped in. “That’s what we’ll find out. One of the first questions we need to know is did Tammy, at any time in the last few months, give you anything to safeguard for her?”

That was the very question Saul wanted answered; he stepped closer and peered at Rebel’s face, looking for any sign of subterfuge.

She stared at the men and shrugged her shoulders. “No, of course not. Why would she?”

“She could have found something damning at work, and she needed you to hold on to it, on the off chance something happened to her.”

She frowned, her focus remaining on the men. “She didn’t give me anything to hold or keep. I didn’t know of anything potentially dangerous in her world. She would’ve told me.”

“Did she feel the same way about you as you feel about her?” Saul asked quietly.

She turned her gaze to his. “Yes. We’ve been best friends since forever.”

“Maybe she wouldn’t tell you about this, seeing it would bring danger to your doorstep.”

He watched the wheels in her mind turn, and then a stricken look took over her face as she realized something. “That’s exactly what Tammy would do,” she whispered. “As I would for her.”

“And that’s why this is interesting,” Stone said. “Because this changes our avenues of thinking completely. Whoever came here was looking for something, for whatever reason, whether she told them or they assumed so because of your close association.”

“Or because Daniel told them,” she said bitterly. “He was always a troublemaker.”
Mayer, Dale. Heroes for Hire: Books 7-9 ((pp. 289-294). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

In spite of the conflict of Rebel not liking Daniel and her being more concerned about Tammy, Saul finds himself more than a little attracted.

I love the way the suspense and the romance build in this book, gradually getting hotter until everything bursts into flame.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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Ice Pick in the Ivy – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 9 by Dale Mayer


Icepick in the Ivy
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 9
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Riches to rags. …
Chaos never calms. …
Time fades memories. …
Or at least most of them!

Who knew two small maker’s marks could lead to such chaos? Doreen has been enjoying a few well-earned days of peace and quiet after solving her last mystery. But all good things must come to an end. Like when Thaddeus, her independently minded African gray parrot, digs up two rectangular metal pieces from the path along the creek. Then Doreen is sent down another rabbit hole of the past: connecting the dots from a long-defunct tool repair company and a young girl who disappeared at the same time.

Corporal Mack Moreau doesn’t think these events are connected. He doesn’t believe the spate of recent deaths is suspiciously tied in either. Mack wants Doreen to focus on the materials and the cost analysis to replace her backyard deck and to leave the detecting to him. But how can she, when she knows so much more is going on than Mack believes?

Heart attacks, unfair wills, and a missing ice pick are all related. She just needs to understand how …

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Doreen is still recuperating from her last case as this book opens. But she’s already getting bored. As she begins to work on her garden she realizes Thaddeus isn’t around anywhere. He returns when she calls but he has something shiny that he doesn’t want to give up. This becomes a delightful interaction with Goliath and Thaddeus as she tries to get the object and Goliath wants to pounce.

When she finally gets the object away from him she pockets it and returns to her gardening but Thaddeus isn’t happy about that at all. He wants her to follow him. When she does, it’s not surprising that Mugs and Goliath follow. She admonished Thaddeus for going so far along the creek without her even as she finds another piece of metal that although smaller the same as the first one.

Not knowing what either meant she heads back home when Mugs jostles her on the bridge causing her to fall through the broken planks.

Now the scene that followed that was a favorite and I was laughing out loud, but that wasn’t my top favorite. You see, now Doreen is stuck not able to put weight on her ankle or it will take longer to heal. To say she’s not a good patient is putting it mildly. There are some perks to it all though. Nan and Mack have both been taking care of her and Mack is a hoot as always.

This is a favorite scene.

“Just a few more days. Then you can resume a normal life.” He gave her a slow smile. “You’ll be back to normal, ready to terrorize everyone, on Thursday. That’s not long to wait.”

Still he was right; a couple more days wasn’t too bad. Particularly as he’d been looking after her. Now that the pain had eased, she knew it wouldn’t be long before she could bear her full weight. She didn’t let him see, but she had managed to get to the bathroom more easily today. “Ha, you’re enjoying this. Hopefully you’re making good use of me being off work and catching up on yours,” she warned. “You know I’m just raring to go, right?”

“That’s good,” he said smoothly. “In the meantime, you’ve got a TV, books, and time to rest— like really rest right now. So take advantage of it,” he urged. “You’ve been attacked so many times in recent weeks, let your body catch up.”

She subsided on her bed. Her ankle felt better— especially when propped up on pillows— but, in some ways, Mack was right. She just didn’t want him to know that. “Fine. As instructed, I’ll give it until Thursday, but after that …”

He grinned. “After that you’ll be meddling in my affairs again. Got it.”

Ftppp.” She made a face as he turned and walked back into the kitchen. But he hadn’t said anything that Nan hadn’t repeated time and time again these last few days. And the doctor. Sigh. He’d told her not to go back to work for a full week and to stay off her leg completely, if she wanted it to heal properly. At the time she’d wondered if Mack had coerced the doctor into saying that, but her research for sprains online had showed a similar time frame.

She groaned. “I’m bored.”

“No, you’re not,” he called out from the kitchen. “You could find something to keep you occupied on your laptop with no problem.”

“But I don’t have a case to work on,” she complained.

He poked his head around the corner, gave her a fat smile, and said, “I know.”

“I could work on the Bob Small stuff,” she said in a considering tone. “It’s not like I can do much else, but I could start researching that case— or rather cases. As in many cases really. He was a serial killer, after all. Still at large.”

“Too bad you can’t get to that basket of clippings by yourself anytime soon, and no way will I pull it down for you,” he said in a bright cheerful voice. “That’s hardly resting if you’re sleuthing.”

Her irritation at being bedridden melted as soon as she heard him say sleuthing. It was almost a validation of what she did. And anything was better than meddling.

“Dinner is ready,” he called out. “Do you want to eat there or make your way to the kitchen?”

“Kitchen please.” She grabbed the crutches Nan had gotten her from somewhere, and, no, she’d not asked where, and made her way to the kitchen. Doreen stopped and sniffed the aroma and cried out, “Spaghetti!”

“Absolutely. Now sit down and get that leg up,” he ordered. “At least this way you’ll have enough leftovers until you’re cleared to walk again.”

She beamed and immediately obeyed. Anything for spaghetti. “I really appreciate the leftovers.”

He walked over, bearing a heaping plate of spaghetti and, oh joy, … meatballs as well. “Oh my,” she whispered softly, staring at the plate in rapture.

“You know how they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Now I don’t know that for sure about all men, but it’s definitely the way to your heart.”

She nodded but didn’t waste time talking. She forked up part of a meatball and some noodles dripping with sauce and took her first bite and closed her eyes.

There was an odd silence. She opened her eyes to find him staring at her. That was a new look on his face, but the look in his gaze was universal.

He dropped his focus to his own plate, breaking the moment.

But it would be a long time before she forgot the heat in his eyes.
Dale Mayer. Ice Pick in the Ivy (Kindle Locations 146-178). Valley Publishing.

As soon as Doreen is given the okay, she’s of course up and running. When she discovers an icepick near where Thaddeus found the metal labels things take several interesting turns.

Nan is ever helpful, and an interesting confrontation in the grocery with Mack at her side adds even more suspense to this tale.

I laughed, sighed, and gobbled up this story with each and every clue discovered.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, from the awesome lead in I don’t think Mack is going to be very happy about it.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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