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Tactical Takeover – Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 4 by Elle James

Tactical Takeover
Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 4
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


Former Navy SEAL, Sawyer Johnson’s career as a SEAL is over. He’s the survivor of an attack that killed two of his buddies and cost him the use of his left hand. Out of the military and aimless, he receives a job offer and a ticket to fly to Colorado Springs. On the flight, he meets a woman who is moving to Colorado to free her brother from a militant group. Intrigued, he realizes her problem is a perfect challenge for the Brotherhood Protectors, his new place of employment.

Kinsley Brothers is a take charge, Physician Assistant and devoted big sister. When her brother gets caught up in a radical survivalist group, she pulls up stakes and moves to Colorado to rescue her sibling from the dangerous and charismatic leader of the cult. In over her head, she gladly accepts an offer of assistance from the Brotherhood Protectors.

Assigned to aid and protect Kinsley, Sawyer has his job cut out for him with the headstrong woman who is used to doing things her way. To get her brother out, they must infiltrate the cult’s mountain hideout. The ticking timebomb they discover will take the entire team to diffuse.

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Sawyer is heading to Colorado Springs to join the Brotherhood Protectors, flights have been all kinds of messed up so he’s running late. He’s thinking the seat next to him will be empty so he stretch out a bit for the flight, until a woman rushes onboard. Fortunately for him she’s generous and offers him the aisle, preferring the window.

Kinsley is moving to Denver to find her brother, she’s afraid he’s gotten himself in trouble and she hasn’t heard from him since he joined a group during the off-season. She also prefers the mountains and is looking forward to living there.

They’re thoughts are in sync as far as finally getting to their destination, they’ve both had delays and just want to arrive. Unfortunately the weather in Colorado Springs takes a turn for the worse and they have to return to Denver.

Kinsley rents an SUV and they travel together through the storm, the pass to Fool’s Gold gets a bit hairy, but otherwise the trip to Long Valley Ranch was uneventful. A nice surprise is they have the room so Kinsley can stay there.

This is a favorite scene when they arrive.

Everyone turned to the barrel-chested man with a gray crew cut and a chiseled face, standing at the top of the stairs.

RJ shook her head. “Don’t be so bristly, Gunny. These two have been through hell, tonight.”

Gunny’s eyes narrowed. “The pass was pretty bad, huh?”

Kinsley nodded, not sure yet how to take the man with the booming voice.

“Kinsley and Sawyer, this is my father, Dan Tate. In case you wondered, he’s a former Marine Gunnery Sergeant. Thus, the loud voice that carries across the mountains and scares small children.”

“Don’t mind my daughter and her sassy mouth. She came by it honestly. Call me Gunny. I don’t answer to anything else.” He lifted his chin. “Well, don’t just stand there, come in.”

Kinsley hesitated. “I really should be headed back to Fool’s Gold. I still have to find a place to stay for the night.”

“You’ve come to the right place,” Gunny said. “We have rooms here at the lodge. You can stay here as long as you like.”

Kinsley blinked. “Are you sure? I don’t have reservations.”

RJ gave her a reassuring smile. “You don’t need them. This is the offseason. Between the time when kids go back to school and ski season begins, we usually have openings. We’d be happy to have you stay. Unless you had prior plans to meet up with someone in Fool’s Gold…” RJ cocked an eyebrow, waiting for her response.

“No. I really didn’t have much of a plan at all.” Kinsley glanced up at the lodge. “If you’re sure…” Relief flooded through her.

As if to move things along, fat raindrops pelted the four standing in front of the house.

RJ and Jake ran for the porch.

Sawyer grabbed Kinsley’s hand and ran with her up the steps, coming to a stop beneath the porch awning.

Gunny held the door for the four entering the lodge.

As Kinsley entered, she drank in the tall ceilings, the sweeping staircase and the massive fireplace in a great room filled with overstuffed leather sofas and chairs. The lighting was low, but enough to make a person feel welcome to sit and visit with anyone who happened to be sitting there.

At once, Kinsley was filled with a sense of warmth and homecoming. “It’s beautiful.”

RJ smiled. “It wasn’t so beautiful when Gunny bought it. Back then, I thought he was out of his mind.”

“Nothing a little elbow grease and determination couldn’t fix,” Gunny said.

The gunnery sergeant’s daughter snorted. “Make that a lot of elbow grease and determination.” She hooked her arm through her father’s elbow. “But it’s ours, and it looks amazing compared to when we first walked in. We worked one room at a time, bringing it back to its original glory.”

“Was it always a lodge?” Kinsley asked.

Gunny nodded. “Yes, ma’am. It was built back in the late 1800s as an escape for the rich people in Denver. They would plan vacations in the mountains and come all the way out here to get away during the summer months. The last owner didn’t use it to its full potential. He let it fall into disrepair. Business died off, and people quit coming. After the old man died, his heirs sold the place, as is.”

“That’s when Gunny made his shrewd investment, and we’ve nearly gone bankrupt several times over the past ten years.” RJ chuckled. “Then Hank Patterson decided it would make a great base location for his venture.”

“So, the Brotherhood Protectors is based out of the ranch?” Sawyer asked.

Jake nodded. “We have the basement and several of the rooms in the lodge for new hires until they find digs of their own. You’ll be staying here until you decide where you want to live. You might like it in Fool’s Gold or Colorado Springs. It’s only a thirty-minute drive to the Springs from here.”

“What exactly will I be doing?” Sawyer asked. “That might have a bearing on where I live.”

“We do whatever needs to be done. You might act as a bodyguard to someone in danger, rescue damsels in distress or extract someone who has been taken against his or her will. We do whatever needs to be done in situations the local law enforcement and government authorities might not have the authority or staffing to get involved in. Sometimes, we assist those agencies when additional, highly trained bodies are needed. We might also perform missions outside the US. Missions, similar to those we performed in Special Forces operations.”

Sawyer’s eyes widened. “Seriously?”

Jake nodded. “That’s why we want the best of the best.”

Sawyer’s brow furrowed. “Then why did you contact me? You need able-bodied men.” His hand once again clasped his limp arm.

Kinsley’s heart tugged at the gesture that was becoming familiar the more she was with the former Navy SEAL.

Jake reached down and lifted his pant leg, displaying a prosthetic leg. “We might not be as fit as we were when we graduated from BUD/S, but we’re mentally fit and find ways to compensate for whatever life has thrown our way.” The former SEAL lifted his chin. “Believe me, I was where you are now—no, I was drinking myself into a bottomless pit of self-pity when Hank sent his guy Kujo out here to Colorado to recruit me into the Brotherhood Protectors. I didn’t think I had what it took to do the job.” He glanced down at RJ. “I proved myself wrong.”

She wrapped her arm around his waist and leaned into him. “Yes, you did.” She turned to Sawyer. “And so will you.”

“If you’re willing to take the challenge,” Jake added. “Do you want the job?”

Kinsley held her breath.

Sawyer stared at Jake, meeting his gaze and holding it. “Yes. I do. At this point in my life, I have nothing left to lose.”

“Except a shitty attitude about yourself.” Jake stuck out his hand. “Welcome to the Brotherhood Protectors.”

She wasn’t sure why, but Kinsley felt proud of this man who’d somehow become important to her over the course of the two-hour drive from Denver.

“I’ll take the job on one condition,” Sawyer interjected, his hand still in Jake’s firm grip.

Jake’s lips quirked upward. “And what’s that?”

“That my first assignment is to help this damsel in distress.” He tipped his head toward Kinsley.

Kinsley gasped. “I’m not a damsel in distress,” she insisted.

“No, but your brother could be in trouble, and you need help finding him.” Sawyer released Jake’s hand.

“Kinsley’s brother might be involved with a survivalist or anarchists’ group somewhere up in these mountains. She needs help finding and extracting him from whatever group he’s gotten tangled up with.”

Jake nodded. “Sounds like something right up our alley.”

Kinsley held up her hands. “I don’t have the kind of money it takes to hire an organization like yours.”

Jake grinned. “That’s the beauty of the Brotherhood Protectors. Hank and his wife fund it. They want to help anyone who needs the help, regardless of whether they can afford to pay or not. Granted, some of their customers can afford to pay a lot. Others, might not be able to.”

RJ raised a hand. “Like me. I was Jake’s first assignment. Hank wouldn’t let me pay him, even if I’d had the money to do so.” She smiled up at Jake. “Jake kept me alive when I thought all was lost.”

“We kept each other alive,” Jake corrected. “The point is, we still have fight left in us. It’s not time for us to be put out to pasture. We’re needed.”

“Thanks,” Sawyer said. “I’ll work hard to prove you right.”

“Work hard to prove yourself right,” Jake said. He turned to Kinsley. “Let’s get some hot cocoa and show you two to your rooms. We’ll get started on your case first thing in the morning.”

Tears filled Kinsley’s eyes. “Thank you. I’ll find a way to repay the Brotherhood. I just need to find my brother. I’m afraid for him.”

“We’ll find him,” Jake said.
James, Elle. Tactical Takeover (Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 4). Kindle Locations (365-424). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Things start heating up almost immediately as Kinsley and Sawyer follow the GPS to the last reported location of her brother’s phone.

Plenty of tension and suspense as this story unfolds, I love the way the relationship between Kinsley and Sawyer simmers then sizzles.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

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Coming Soon!

Elle James

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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Ranger Redemption – Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 3 By Elle James

Ranger Redemption
Brotherhood Protectors Colorado
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


Former Army Ranger, Cage Weaver, left the military to fulfill a promise to a dying buddy. Invited to join the Brotherhood Protectors, he’s grateful to have a job where he can he use the skills normally associated with battle.

Emily Strayhorn, a therapist working with military PTSD patients, is being stalked. When she seeks help from the Brotherhood Protectors, Cage is assigned to be her bodyguard until they can determine who is threatening her.

As danger escalates Cage takes his duties 24/7. Together they overcome barriers to their hearts and find the enemy threatening their lives and love.

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This book opens as Cage Weaver reaches the summit of Pike’s Peak, a marathon run he was going to do with his best friend Ryan Meyers. On this day he was running it alone with Ryan’s ashes in his backpack. He was going to release them there but there were too many people around to do so. He would complete the marathon with his buddy today and at a later date would say that final goodbye. He would begin his new job with the Brotherhood Protectors tomorrow a new start using the skills the Army honed in him.

Emily Strayhorn is a therapist at the VA, her patients mostly have PTSD and she has both group and private sessions. We learn how her relationship with Gunny and RJ came to be as she’s preparing to leave for the day. Her plan is to have dinner with them, she gets a surprise at her car though. Inside her locked car is a red rose, while that is creepy in itself, it gets worse later with a phone call with just a phrase.

Cage is moving in at the lodge and is helping get dinner on the table when he meets Emily. Unfortunately he scares her since he was chasing a roll under the table when she entered the room. She does relax when she realizes he’s the new guy though. I really love the dinner scenes, everyone is family and it really shows.

A favorite scene is part of that dinner conversation.

“You really do need to hire more help.”

“And I will when I find the right person. So, tell us what’s going on in your world?”

She glanced down. “Not much.”

Cage could feel the tension in her.

Apparently, Gunny could detect it too. “I know that look,” he said.

She glanced up. “What look?”

“That look that says you don’t want to bother me with your problems. Cough it up, Emily. What good is a friend if they can’t help you when you need it?”

She shook her head. “You have so much on your plate now. You don’t need my problems.”

Gunny reached across the table and took her hand. “Emily, we’re not just friends, we’re family. What’s bothering you?”

She chewed on her lip before answering. “I might have a stalker.”

“No kidding?” RJ asked.

Emily nodded.

“How long has it been going on?” Gunny asked.

“Actually, I think just today.”

“Then what makes you think it’s a stalker?”

“Well, it started with a rose on the seat of my car.”

RJ grinned. “You have a secret admirer.”

Emily shook her head frowning. “A secret admirer doesn’t break into your car to put a rose on your seat.”

RJ’s smile wiped clean. “Somebody broke into your car?”

“That’s all I can figure,” Emily said. “I lock it every morning. There’s no way I left it unlocked, but when I came out this afternoon there was a rose on my seat. And there was no sign that anybody had broken a window window or forced entry. How does someone get into a car that’s locked?”

“The sheriff’s department and the police force in Colorado Springs have tools that can get you into a locked car. Lots of people lock their keys inside. Somebody could have one of those tools and get into your car that way.”

Emily shivered. “That’s pretty creepy that somebody would go so far as to break into my car to leave a rose on the seat.”

RJ nodded. “Yeeeah, that’s kinda creepy, but it could just be somebody who likes you and wants to show you that he cares.”

“I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt, until I got home, and my cellphone rang with an unknown caller ID.”

“I never answer those, it’s usually telemarketers,” RJ said.

Emily nodded. “That’s what I thought, but this one left a message.” She pulled out her cellphone and played the message on the speaker. The computer-generated voice repeated what she’d listened to earlier.

“Roses are red.”

RJ grimaced. “Again, it could just be a secret admirer.”

“Maybe so,” Emily said, “but it kind of creeps me out.”

Gunny nodded. “That settles it, you’re not going back to your apartment tonight.”

Emily frowned. “But that’s where I live.”

Gunny shook his head. “And you always have a home here. You’re staying the night.”

“But I didn’t bring anything with me.”

RJ shook her head. “No excuses. You and I are the same height, and though you’re a little thinner than I am, we can wear the same clothes. You don’t have an animal to take care of back at your apartment, so you’re staying.”

“I’ll think about it,” Emily said.

“There’s nothing to think about,” Gunny said. “If you don’t stay for any other reason, stay because it will give us peace of mind. If you go home tonight, we’ll just worry about you.”

Emily’s brow twisted. “I don’t want you worrying about me. You’ve got enough on your plate.”

“Then don’t make us worry,” RJ said. “You’re staying.”

Emily sighed. “Okay, I’ll stay. But just tonight.”

“Yeah, we’ll talk about that in the morning,” Gunny said. “It’s a weekend, so you don’t have to go home except to get some clothes so you can come back and stay here. One of us will go with you though. You’re not going alone. I never did like the idea of you living downtown all by yourself.”

“I have a nice apartment, it’s got a beautiful view and it’s close to all of the restaurants.”

“Yeah, yeah,” RJ said. “And it’s too far away from us.”

“But it’s close to my work at the VA hospital.”

“True, and I understand why you want to live there. It is a bit of a drive to go through the pass every day to get to work, but you might be safer out here where you’re surrounded by family and friends.”

Emily smiled. “I do miss you all.”

“Yes, and you’re missing all the fun,” RJ said. “What with the Brotherhood Protectors moving into the basement, things are about to get seriously busy around here.” RJ tipped her head toward Cage. “And they just hired their third team member. You’ve met Cage, haven’t you?”

Emily smiled.

Cage nodded. “Yes, we have. We ran into each other in the kitchen.”

RJ laughed. “I hope you don’t mean that literally.”

Cage gave a twisted grin. “Actually, I do.”

Emily laughed. “I found him crawling around on the floor after a dinner roll that escaped.”

Cage raised a hand. “Guilty. I don’t mind helping, but I’m a disaster in the kitchen.”

“One lost dinner roll doesn’t make you a disaster,” Emily pointed out.

He nodded. “But at least now I know why you were so spooked.”

She shrugged. “I didn’t plan on mentioning it, but Gunny and RJ never let me get by without spilling my guts. They’re the therapist’s therapist.”

Cage tilted his head. “So, is that what you do at the VA hospital? You’re a therapist?”

She nodded. “I am. I work with veterans, trying to get them back on track so that they can live full, rewarding lives.”

“Do you think that one of your patients might be your stalker?” JoJo asked.

“I haven’t really had time to think about it, but yes, it could be that one of my patients left the rose and the message, but I have so many it would be hard to narrow it down. I’m just not going to worry about it unless it happens again.”

“I still think you need someone to go with you back to town to get your clothes,” Gunny said.

“I’ll be fine on my own, but yes, I’ll stay the night tonight, and tomorrow I’ll go back to my place.”

“I’ll go with you,” Cage said. “If they don’t need me here.”

“That’s a great idea,” Gunny said. “We’d all feel better if Emily had somebody go with her.”

Emily raised her eyebrows. “Yeah, but if I decide to stay, how are you going to get back?”

“I’ll drive my own vehicle and follow you.”

Emily nodded. “Okay, but only this once. I’m supposed to be an independent woman. I shouldn’t have to have my hand held going home every night.”

“Yeah, and you shouldn’t be getting roses and strange messages from stalkers,” RJ said.“Just accept a little help graciously.”

Emily laughed. “Okay.” She turned to Cage. “And thank you.”

Jake chuckled. “Looks like you might have your very first assignment as a Brotherhood Protector.”

“He’s just gonna follow me into town. He’s not being assigned to me,” Emily said.

Jake raised a hand. “Wait, I think I’m going to hear an echo.”

Emily continued. “I don’t need a protector. I can take care of myself.”

“There it is,” Jake said. “Isn’t that what RJ and JoJo said when we assigned protectors to them?”

RJ met JoJo’s gaze and nodded. “Yeah, and you were right. We needed the protection. Although we thought we could take care of ourselves. Neither one of us would be alive today if it hadn’t been for Jake and Max. So, even if you think it’s nothing, let Cage help you.”

“Better that it be nothing and have help,” JoJo said, “than it to be something and not have it.”

“Okay,” Emily said, “I’m convinced. Cage can be my protector tomorrow.”

And just like that, Cage got his first assignment.
James, Elle. Ranger Redemption (Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 3). Kindle Locations (348-409). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

The next morning things have already escalated with graffiti painted on the outside of the Watering Hole. Emily is more than a little upset, and doesn’t want to bring trouble to Gunny and RJ. The thing is she’s safest on the ranch. That’s not all though and they do involve the police.

Cage is going to stick with her 24/7 even with her patients, one of whom just might be the stalker. Where they stay on the ranch is very interesting, intimate and not very accessible.

There’s lots of hold your breath action in this one, and I love the way the relationship between Emily and Cage grows from simmer to sizzle.

I’ve already started the next book, I am loving this new branch of Brotherhood Protectors.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Elle James

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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Rocky Mountain Rescue – Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 2 by Elle James

Rocky Mountain Rescue
Brotherhood Protectors Colorado
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


Former Green Beret Max Thornton’s career ended when he fell two hundred and fifty feet during a training exercise and broke nearly every bone in his body. Left with a permanent limp and in need of a job, he is recruited by Brotherhood Protectors where he can use his combat training and skills to protect, guard and rescue others. He didn’t expect his first assignment to be the resident mechanic. Nor did he expect the mechanic to be a spitfire of a female with a whole lot of anger.

Josephina Angelica Barrera-Ramirez or JoJo, as her friends call her, prefers to be left alone with the work she does on the machinery and vehicles of the Lost Valley Ranch. Suffering from situational amnesia brought on by an attack she sustained during a deployment to Afghanistan, she’s touchy about being touched and doesn’t take any flack from ranch guests or the Brotherhood Protectors operating out of the lodge. When she becomes the target of a shadowy figure in the night, a former Green Beret is assigned as her bodyguard until the attacker can be found and neutralized. Forced to have the Green Beret around, her distrust of men is challenged and the wall around her heart crumbles.

When danger threatens all they come to mean to each other, Max and JoJo must fight their own fears to defeat evil while losing the battle of their hearts to win a future together.

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In the prologue of this book we get to see the rescue part of the traumatic event that sends JoJo home to Colorado. She had a choice there but when you don’t know who you can trust to have your back, it really isn’t much of one. She doesn’t remember her attack or her attacker and that’s dangerous in many ways. She helps out on the Ranch with any and all things mechanical and also lends a hand at the Watering Hole.

Max Thornton is the latest member of the Brotherhood Protectors, a former Green Beret he has fought to find a new normal following multiple injuries. This job is the next step in that recovery. Until they have more men and assignments Jake and Max are also helping out on the Ranch and the bar. Max gets a bit of a surprise when he startles JoJo. Although she doesn’t explain her reaction, it makes him aware she has an issue as they go to help Gunny at the bar.

This is a favorite scene, as Max comes to her rescue.

Max scooped up the plates of sandwiches and carried them out to the dining room, almost bumping into JoJo who was heading into the kitchen.

“Oh good,” she said. “I was looking for those.” When she took the sandwiches from his hands, their fingers touched.

A jolt of electricity shot up his arms and spread warmth throughout his chest.

JoJo’s eyes widened, and her pupils flared. If Max hadn’t still been holding onto the plates, she would’ve dropped them. Her hands fell to her sides.

“Are you okay?” Max asked.

She looked down at her hands, and then back up at him. “I—I’m fine.” Then she carefully took the plates from his hands without touching his fingers, turned and hurried away without another word.

“Max,” RJ called out, “can you carry this tray of drinks over to table five?”

“Are you sure you want me to?” he asked.

RJ grinned. “It takes practice.”

He shook his head. “It’ll be your loss if it all ends up on the floor.”

“I’ll take my chances,” she said. “You’ve got this.”

He lifted the heavy tray off the counter and limped across the room to table five, proud of himself when he delivered the drinks without spilling the contents, dropping the tray or making an idiot of himself.

JoJo collected empties off a table with five rowdy men seated around it. Just when she laid the last bottle on the tray and was about to pick it up, a big, booted foot swept out and clipped her ankle. JoJo toppled onto one of the men’s laps.

“Hey, JoJo, didn’t know you cared,” the man with the big foot said. “Come give ol’ Roy some sugar.”

Max stiffened as JoJo’s eyes widened, and her face blanched white. “Let me up,” she said. “Let me up.” She struggled against the meaty hands holding her down.

Roy wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly. “Hey, sweetheart, all I want’s a little sugar.”

Max flew across the room, yanked the man’s hands away from JoJo and pulled her off his lap. He let go of her immediately, and she ran past the bar through the swinging door and into the kitchen. And from the way a door slammed in the kitchen, she was headed out the back exit.

Max pointed to the man seated in the chair. “Out.”

Roy’s eyebrows rose. “What? I didn’t do nothin’. She fell into my lap.”

“The hell she did.” Max glared at the man. “You tripped her and made her fall into your lap. Get out.”

The man pushed to his feet. He must have been at least six-feet-seven. He towered over Max’s six-feet-three inches and weighed at least twice as much as Max.

Max didn’t give a rat’s ass how big the guy was. The man had been an asshole to JoJo. Max pushed his shoulders back and squared off with Roy. He wasn’t backing down.

Roy’s lip curled up on one corner. “You gonna make me leave?”

Max’s eyes narrowed. “If I have to.”

“You and what army?” he sneered.

“I don’t need anybody else. I am the Army.”

“And if he needs any more help, he has the Marines with him,” Gunny said beside him. “Get out, Roy.”

“And I’m the Marines’ back-up.” RJ appeared beside Gunny, carrying a shotgun.

Roy eyed the shotgun. “I’ll bet you don’t even know how to shoot that.”

Gunny’s bark of laughter made all the heads turn in the dining room. “Then you don’t know my daughter. She’s a better shot than I ever dreamed of being. And I was a sniper. A damn good one. You telling me you want to test her skills?”

Roy stood for another second or two, and then shook his head. “I don’t have to take this crap from anybody, and the food wasn’t that great either. I ain’t payin’ for it.” He turned and pushed past Gunny and stalked out the front door of the bar. The men sitting at the table all looked away, their cheeks red.

“Sorry about that, Gunny. Didn’t know he was going to be such a jerk,” one of them said. He threw a couple of twenties on the table. “That should cover his and ours. Don’t worry. We won’t bring him back again.”

“Good, because he’s not welcome here. Thank you for understanding.” Gunny smiled. “Stay for a while. Have a drink on the house.”

The man grinned. “Thanks, Gunny.”

Gunny turned to RJ, meeting her gaze.

RJ nodded. “I’ll go check on her.”

Max wanted to go with RJ to find JoJo. He was worried about her. He suspected whatever had happened to her had to do with men, and that would explain why she’d flipped him in the barn and lost it when Roy grabbed her.

“Think you could handle making sandwiches?” Gunny asked.

Max nodded. “I think I can figure that out.”
James, Elle. Rocky Mountain Rescue (Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 2). Kindle Locations (369-404). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Now Gunny has stet up a campaign start with an aspiring politician and he doesn’t give the gang much time to prepare. With a bit of a briefing and quick decisions on activities they’re ready.

After a late night, Max follows JoJo to her apartment to be sure she’s safe, especially after the altercation at the Watering Hole. He notices a car with someone in it that raises his hackles, so he hangs around for a bit until the car leaves.

In the morning JoJo notices someone had tried to get past the deadbolt. At the ranch, no one is happy about that and JoJo decides to stay at the ranch but she needs to get some clothes from her apartment. Max goes with her and it’s a good thing, the smell of gas has them both running, narrowly escaping the brunt of the explosion.

Now Max has his first case, protecting JoJo while they entertain the rather smarmy politician, his aide and campaign people.

There’s lots of suspense and intrigue as Max and the team work through the limited clues.

I’m in catch-up mode with this series, reading the next one now.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

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Coming Soon!

Elle James

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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Breaking Silence – Delta Force Strong Book 1 by Elle James

Breaking Silence
Delta Force Strong Book 1
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


Rucker Sloan, thinks all he’s good for is a fighting, killing machine. Relationships are out of the question.

Until he meets a nurse who’d risk her life for someone she doesn’t know…

After her mother died of a broken heart, nurse Nora Michaels joined the Army to do something to help others and to escape her sad memories. Deployed to Afghanistan, she hopes she’s making a difference, especially when she treats a cranky wounded soldier who just might be more broken than she is.

When the local orphanage where she volunteers is overrun by Taliban, Nora and the little orphan girls are kidnapped and taken into the hills where they are to be auctioned off to sex traffickers.

They need a miracle to save them.

Rucker and his team receive intel on the location of the nurse and children taken from the orphanage. In an operation to save them, Rucker and Nora are separated from the others and must traverse enemy territory to find their way back to safety. Along the way, they learn to rely on and trust each other, discovering a passion they never expected to find in the harsh hills of a war torn country.

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Rucker Sloan was impressed with Nora Michaels from the moment they met in Afghanistan. He had no idea how long they’d be there but he wanted to get to know her better. Fraternization is frowned upon, but sharing coffee or a meal could be good to get to know one another.

When one of his teammates is injured saving his behind, Rucker stays with him at the hospital. All the tongues start to wag when Nora shows up early for her shift to be sure Rucker’s okay. Since Dash’s injuries turn out not to be so bad the team would be stay in place until their next mission.

One of the things Nora enjoys about her deployment is going to the nearby orphanage, they do health checks and give vaccines. This trip to the orphanage would be Nora’s last since she will be heading back home. Ryker surprises her and is her driver for the day. Only they never make it to the orphanage. They are taken at gun point to do something a bit unusual that becomes complicated.

Delivering a breech baby is difficult under any circumstances outside of a hospital, but Nora with Ryker’s help pulls it off. Much to their relief they would be allowed to return to base.

This is a favorite scene.

Rucker was in awe of all she’d done, and that she hadn’t fallen apart in the middle of it. He would never admit it, but he was a bit shaken by the experience. They’d just delivered a breech baby in a war-torn country.

The door opened, and the father entered, his eyes wide and worried. “All is well?”

Nora nodded, peeling off her gloves. “Congratulations, you have a son, and your wife seems to be doing fine.”

The frown creasing the man’s forehead cleared. He hurried to his wife’s side and peered down at the baby in her arms, a smile spreading across his face. “Allah is good.” He looked up at Rucker and Nora. “Daera manana. Thank you.”

Nora nodded.

“My apologies for taking you at gunpoint. I did not know how else to get you here.” He held out his hand. “I am Pazir. My wife is Gulpari. We are in your debt for keeping my family alive.”

“Why didn’t you ask the base for help?” Nora asked.

Pazir shook his head. “The Taliban sees all. If I visit the base, they will assume I am passing secrets to the American forces. They will punish me by punishing my family.”

Gulpari clutched her baby close. “We did not know what else to do.”

Pazir sighed. “I took you at gunpoint as a show of force; the Taliban will not question.”

“Are you a member of the Taliban?” Rucker asked.

The man looked away. “In their eyes, I am.”

“In yours?” Rucker asked.

“To keep my family alive, I do what I have to.” Rucker’s fists clenched. “Have you killed Americans?”

“No,” Pazir said. “I believe Allah is kind and good. But I must walk among the Taliban.”

Nora nodded. “I understand. I hope they don’t read into our visit today anything other than the opportunity to help your wife in labor.” She nodded toward Rucker. “Now, if you don’t mind, we need to get back to the base before dark. My people will be worried and will send out squads of soldiers to look for us.”

“Of course. I will take you back to the edge of the village, closest to the base.”

Rucker nodded. “And provide cover while we drive away from town?”

Pazir nodded. “I owe you for saving my wife and son’s lives. I will be forever in your debt.” He gave a slight bow. “You will follow me to your vehicle. My men and I will ride with you until we get close.”

“As long as they don’t plan on shooting us in the back of our heads,” Rucker said.

Pazir clasped his hands together and gave Rucker a slight bow. “You have my word. You and the nurse will be safe with us.”

“And you’ll give my driver his weapon back when we get there,” Nora said. It wasn’t a question, but a demand.

“To show my sincerity, he can have it back now.” Pazir pulled the handgun from a pocket buried in his loose clothing and handed it to Rucker.

Rucker ejected the magazine. It was still full. He shrugged into his uniform jacket, then his bulletproof vest and slid the handgun into the holster at his hip.

Nora slipped her jacket on over her bloodied T-shirt. “How did you know a nurse would be coming into town today?”

“We know,” Pazir said. “If you are certain my wife will be all right, you can come with me now.”

Nora looked toward the mother-in-law who had done a good job of cleaning up the mess of childbirth. The older woman gave her a sincere nod.

“She’ll be all right as long as you keep her clean and germ-free. The same goes for the baby. Wash hands with soap and water that has had the bacteria boiled out of it before handling the baby.”

Pazir spoke to his mother, and then nodded to Nora. “Follow me.”

He led them out to where the HUMMV was parked in the walled yard. Nora checked the items in the back. When she was satisfied, she nodded.

“We only took the gloves.” Pazir said something to the two men with the rifles.

One of them ran back into the house. A moment later, he returned with the box of surgical gloves and handed them to Pazir.

He, in turn, handed the box to Nora. “Again, I thank you for saving my wife and son. I am indebted to you. I will find a way to repay that honor.” He gave her a brief bow and waved a hand toward the HUMMV.

Rucker opened the door for her.

Nora climbed into the passenger seat.

After closing the door, Rucker hurried around to the driver’s seat. He didn’t completely trust the Afghans after they’d taken them at gunpoint.

The three men climbed into the back seat. This time their guns weren’t pointed at Rucker and Nora’s heads. The drive through the streets was a little less stressful, though Rucker knew the men could kill them if they wanted. The fact that Pazir considered himself part of the Taliban left Rucker uneasy. Even if he only belonged as an attempt to keep his family safe.

As he drove, Rucker studied the turns. Pazir took them a different route from the one that got them to his home in the first place. Rucker wasn’t sure he could find his way back to the walled home.

Pazir was smart. He didn’t want them retracing their route.

Soon, the Afghan had him stop. “We will leave you here. Follow the road ahead. It will take you to the main path leading back to the base. You will recognize it when you get there. Peace be with you.”

The three men left the vehicle and disappeared down a crowded street.

Rucker shifted into drive and moved slowly forward, not liking that they were without an escort preceding and following them. Hopefully, they were close enough to the base they could make a run for it, if they found themselves attacked. He inched through the throngs of people until they arrived at the main, wider road he remembered driving down earlier that day. He turned toward the base. “I suppose the vaccinations will have to be done another day,” he said.

Nora nodded. “It’s getting late in the day and I have the night shift. I need to get a few hours of sleep before I go on duty. Besides, I want to give the children the time and attention they deserve.”

Rucker nodded. “You really care about them, don’t you?”

She gave him a sad smile. “I do. I hate leaving them. I wish I could take all of them home with me.”

“You have a big heart. And what you did for that woman and her baby…” He shook his head. “Delivering a baby is hard enough, but delivering a breech baby…” He reached across and took her hand. “You were amazing.”

She stared down at where his hand held hers without pulling away. “Thank you for helping.”

“I only did what you told me. You were the star of that show.” He winked.

She laughed softly. “I have to admit, I was shaking inside. That could have gone horribly wrong, ending in the death of the baby and the mother.” She looked up at him. “That would’ve been bad. And if they’d died, I wasn’t sure Pazir would let us live to come back to the base.”

“You had a lot riding on the outcome.” He squeezed her hand gently. “It all turned out for the best. And I think you made a friend out of a member of the Taliban.”

Nora grimaced. “I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
James, Elle. Breaking Silence (Delta Force Strong Book 1). Kindle Locations (881-940). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

In spite of what happened Nora is determined to go to the orphanage to visit with the children and give the vaccines. It was her chance to say good-bye. Unfortunately things go sideways again, and her helping Pazir just might be a saving grace.

Rucker isn’t able to accompany her and when the news reaches him he does what he has to do. There’s no way his team isn’t going to help him find her and get her to safety.

Nora and Rucker have much to consider especially since she’ll be heading back to the states. One thing for certain they want to stay in touch and see what happens.

Plenty of action, flirting and a touch of sizzle.

I’m behind on this series so I have some catching up to do.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Elle James

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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Amazon Author Page

SEAL Salvation – Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 1 By Elle James

SEAL Salvation
Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 1
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


All he wants is to be left alone

Jake Cogburn lost his leg, his career, his brotherhood and his will to live when he stepped on that IED in Afghanistan. Back in his home state of Colorado, he’s determined to bury himself as deeply as he can in a bottle of Jack Daniels until the pain in his leg and his heart is so numb he can no longer feel.

No man left behind

Hank Patterson refuses to let his buddy, Jake, slowly kill himself with alcohol. Hank’s plan to expand the Brotherhood Protectors into Colorado will only work if he can hire the best men for the job. He wants Jake and sends fellow Coloradan, Kujo, to pull Jake out of an alcohol induced haze and back onto his feet to work for the team. Hank’s contact has a place they can set up operations while flying under the radar—a flailing dude ranch, run by a former Marine Gunnery sergeant and his feisty daughter.

Rucker Tate is as unconventional as the name her father gave her upon her birth. After her mother died when Rucker was only a baby, she was left in the capable hands of her taciturn Marine father to be raised tough and ready to accept any challenge. Including adopting a Military Working Dog with only three legs. Retraining the dog to live in a civilian world is practically a fulltime job. She’s up for it, until she witnesses a meeting she shouldn’t have seen and is thrown into the path of a killer who wants to wipe her memory, by erasing her from existence.

Jake’s first assignment as a Brotherhood Protector is to stick to the rebellious daughter of the owner of a dude ranch and make certain she doesn’t fall victim to the person gunning. Meanwhile, Rucker fights to keep from falling victim to the love blossoming in her heart over the young Navy SEAL who dogs her every footstep. Even her German Shepherd likes the SEAL better than Rucker. And worse…she finds herself falling for the cranky, one-legged frogman. Her challenge is to live long enough to see where these feelings take her.

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Hank Patterson knows his friend and former SEAL Jake Cogburn is going through a rough time. He’s not going to lose his friend to alcohol and he has just the plan to help him.

The Brotherhood Protectors are expanding and Hank wants one of the new offices to be in Colorado. He thinks he’s found the perfect place a Lost Valley Ranch is a struggling Dude Ranch run by former Marine Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Tate and his daughter Rucker Juliet aka RJ. He enlists Kujo who is from Colorado to entice Jake to accept the position of running the new office.

It takes just a bit of persuation to get Jake to accompany him to the ranch but Kujo managed it just fine with a mention or two of Hank.

Gunny had let his daughter know about the two men coming to possibly rent space on the ranch. She was looking forward to meeting them and understand exactly what kind of business they were looking to run from there. Unfortunately getting cleaned up from chores took longer than she anticipated and she had to work the bar.

When the waitress JoJo startles her she breaks a bottle of Tequila, this leads into my favorite scene as she cleans up.

When she started for the back rooms, Striker rose from where he’d been sleeping on a padded dog bed behind the bar. “No, Striker,” she said. “Stay.”

The Malinois whimpered.

“I’ll be right back.” She didn’t want the dog to cross over the tequila mess and broken glass. His paws could be cut in the process. “Stay,” she repeated and left him behind the bar while she headed for the back rooms.

In the supply closet, she found the broom, dustpan and mop bucket but no mop. Then she remembered she’d left it out on the back porch to dry the night before.

RJ stepped through the rear door and reached for the mop. Darkness had settled over the bar and ranch. The single yellow light glowing over the back porch lit her way. A sound startled her and made her turn toward the large trash container.

A shadowy form shifted back and forth in the darkness. After a second, RJ recognized it as two men in a scuffle. Nothing unusual for a Saturday night in the mountains. But she didn’t want it to reflect badly on the Watering Hole or the Lost Valley Ranch when Gunny was attempting to sell the new guys on renting a quiet place in the country.

Punches flew between them, one guy staggering backward to hit the steel corner of the trash bin with a resounding thud. Then he slid to the ground. The other guy approached him with his arm cocked, his hand balled into a fist. He was going to hit the man while he was obviously down.

“Hey!” RJ called out as she flew off the porch and raced toward the last man standing. “Leave him alone!”

The guy spun and faced her, a ski mask covering his face.

The cold hand of dread clenched around RJ’s chest. This wasn’t a typical barfight. A guy wearing a ski mask had something to hide.

Anger surged through RJ, and she lost her grip on caution. Charging forward, she reached for the man’s ski mask.

Before he could knock her hand away, she sank her fingers into the black knit threads and tugged it free of his head.

At the same time, a fist came out and crashed into her temple, knocking her backward.

RJ lost her balance and fell flat on her back, her hard landing knocking the wind from her lungs.

Shocked by the fall, she couldn’t move for several seconds and could only see the stars swirling around her head.

A dark shadow fell over her, and her attacker reached down, grabbed the ski mask from her hands and slipped it over his head and face. Then he smashed his palm over RJ’s mouth and nose, leaned his body over hers and trapped her arms and legs with his weight.

RJ, already breathless from her fall, couldn’t draw in air. She fought with all her might, but the man was heavier and had the advantage.

Her vision, already compromised by her fall, blurred further, the gray turning to black around the edges until her strength waned and fight seeped out of her limbs. With no air to recharge her brain and muscles, she went limp, fading into a black abyss.

Suddenly, the weight jerked off her.

In the darkness, as if from far away, she heard scuffling and several thumping sounds and grunts.

RJ could do nothing. Her hearing seemed to return, but she wasn’t really there. It was as if she’d left her body and hovered over the scene in a haze of gloom.

Footsteps crunched in the gravel, and someone was speaking.

“Hey, lady,” a deep resonant voice called out as if at the end of a long tunnel.

RJ couldn’t answer, couldn’t move, couldn’t open her eyes.

Then something soft and warm covered her lips. Fuzz tickled the skin on her cheek. If she could feel that, she wasn’t dead, was she?

Air filled her mouth and pushed down her throat into her lungs. It left as quickly as it came but more followed. Two, three, four times, air pushed into her.

The haze of darkness drifted away. Soft, yellow light peeked between her eyelids.

People were talking. A little closer this time.

“What the hell?” a man’s familiar voice sounded near her. “RJ? RJ, baby?”

Gunny. She thought she spoke it, but no sound came from her mouth. Her lips were still covered, and air was being forced into her lungs.

As the fog cleared in her mind, her body took over. Tingling began in her fingers and toes and spread up her arms and legs. Then her lungs engaged, and she gasped.

“There you are,” that deep resonant voice sounded, warm breath feathering across her cheek.

RJ’s eyes fluttered open, and she stared up at the dark silhouette of a man with a heavy beard and dark eyes.

“RJ? Oh, baby, are you okay?” her father called out.

“I…think…so,” she said, suddenly aware of hands on her arms. Warm, large hands.

When she tried to sit up, those hands held her back. “Lie still. We don’t know if you have other injuries we can’t see.”

“Injuries?” RJ said, her mind returning function but not with memories intact. “Why….what…?” She stared at the man holding her arms. “Who are you?”

“Jake,” he said. “And you are?”

“Rucker Juliet Tate,” she whispered automatically. “You can call me RJ.”

He gave her a hint of a smile. “RJ. Nice to meet you.” Then he turned to address someone nearby. “Kujo, did you check the other guy?”

Another unfamiliar voice answered. “Too late for him. He’s dead.”

Gunny’s face appeared beside Jake’s. “Thank goodness you were here, or my baby girl would be the same.” His hand touched Jake’s shoulder as he stared into RJ’s eyes. “What happened?”

RJ lay on the hard ground, gravel digging into her back, and shook her head. “I’m not sure.”

“I just put in a call to 911,” the other man said. “An ambulance is on its way.”

RJ moved her arms and legs, one by one, checking for any abnormalities. When she found none, she tried again to sit up.

Jake’s hands held her down. “You could have a spinal injury. Moving could make it worse.”

She frowned. “Let me up. I’m okay. I don’t need an ambulance.” She reached up and shoved his hands aside.

Jake pushed to his feet, favoring one leg. He swayed a bit before he straightened and held out a hand to her. “If you’re sure…”

She didn’t want to accept his help, but still didn’t feel completely in control of her own body. Laying her hand in his, she let him help her to her feet.

Jake pulled with enough force, she came off the ground and pitched forward into his chest.

His arms rose around her, his hands finding her hips, steadying her against him.

He took an awkward step backward, again, favoring his left leg.

RJ stood with her hands pressed to his chest, feeling the hard muscles beneath her fingertips, glad for his strength when she felt like a bowl of limp noodles.

Since he and his friend were with Gunny, they had to be the men who’d come to check out Lost Valley Ranch as a potential business location.

And she’d just made a great first impression by failing to keep a customer alive and getting knocked out herself.

Not that he was a stellar representative of a businessman. He wore a Led Zeppelin T-shirt, and his hair needed to be cut and his beard trimmed.

All that didn’t matter. The man had saved her life. Her lips tingled from where his had been, forcing air into her lungs.

She looked past the thick beard, the unkempt hair and the rocker T-shirt, up into Jake’s dark eyes. They held shadows of their own. Shadows that made RJ wonder at their cause.

She shook herself, bringing her mind back to what really mattered. She owed this man her life. “Thank you for saving me.”
James, Elle. SEAL SALVATION (Brotherhood Protectors Colorado Book 1). Kindle Locations (420-483). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

With RJ attacked the possibility she could be a target comes to the fore. Of course she wants no part of a bodyguard but both Jake and her father insist on it.

I also love her retired MWD a three-legged Belgian Malinois named Striker, so protective and loving. He also finds a kinship with Jake which I thought was cute.

There’s plenty of suspense as Kujo and Jake try to figure out why the real estate agent was murdered especially since it occurred where the new office of the Brotherhood Protectors would be.

Jake finds himself in this book as he protects RJ, of course he didn’t expect to fall for RJ in the process.

With suspense, action, and a simmer to sizzle relationship, I couldn’t put this book down.

I really need to catch up on this series now.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Elle James

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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Amazon Author Page

Shadow Assassin – Shadow SEALs Book 2 by Elle James

Shadow Assassin
Shadow SEALs Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


After completing a difficult and secret task to eliminate the leader of a Russian terrorist organization, former Navy SEAL and expert sniper, Dane “Striker” Ryan, is booted from his SEAL team, destroying his reputation as a trusted servant to his country. Burned, angry and out of work, he agrees to take an assignment from a shadowy organization recruiting this Navy SEAL for a special project. For a sizable sum of money, he is to eliminate a dangerous assassin by any means necessary. Unemployed, and with no means to make his next rent payment, he accepts the lucrative work.

Alex Sokolov, self-trained assassin, is on a mission of revenge for her parents’ deaths, a mission that has spanned a decade. As she nears her ultimate target, the hunter becomes the hunted.

Tasked to kill each other, Striker and Alex join forces in this international intrigue to discover the kingpin orchestrating the murders of secret agents, including Alex’s own parents.

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Dane ‘Striker’ Ryan was made the scapegoat for a mission that got more notice than it should have. With no job and no way to pay his rent he gets a call from Charley a mysterious woman who offers him a lot of money and resources to do a covert mission. He accepts and finds himself with a fake name posing as an escort at a high profile energy summit in France. He would be escorting one of the translators, Natalya Zotin to the reception and his mission is to prevent an assassination.

It’s when Anatoly Petrov heads to the gardens with a young woman who had caught Dane’s eye earlier that things start heating up.

Natalya notices not only Petrov leaving but also Sergei Baranovsky so she decides to call it a night, freeing up Dane to investigate the gardens.

This is a favorite scene.

On Striker’s initial inspection of the reception hall, he had followed different hallways and corridors to determine where they led. The one the woman in silver was headed down led out to a tropical garden. The beautiful woman could be going with Petrov for a private assignation surrounded by lush, flowering bushes and palm trees. Or she could be carrying a knife beneath her dress with the intention of assassinating the Russian in the darkness.

“If you’ll excuse me, ma’am,” Striker said. “I need to visit the water closet.”

“By all means,” Natalya said. “I need to powder my nose, as well.”

He indicated the direction in which the ladies’ room was located.

Fortunately, the men’s room was on the opposite side of the hall, conveniently positioned along the same corridor that led to the hotel garden.

“One moment, please.” Natalya tipped her head toward the taller of the two Russians. “It appears Sergei might be leaving the reception hall and Anatoly already has.”

All the more reason for Daniel to hurry and catch up with Petrov and the woman in the silver dress. However, he stood steady and gave Natalya his attention.

“Since they’re leaving the reception, there is no need for me to stay to translate. I find myself fatigued. I too shall retire.” She patted his cheek with the palm of her hand. “Your services are no longer required.”

He captured her hand in his and touched the backs of her knuckles with his lips. “The evening has been my pleasure.”

“Mine, too,” she said with a smile. “And you’re quite good at the waltz. The escort service did well in sending you.”

“You’ll have to look into country western dancing to learn the two-step for next time.” He smiled and waited for her to turn away. Once she did, he headed out across the floor toward the corridor leading into the garden. With no other doorways leading off the corridor, he didn’t wait or check to see if they’d stopped along the way.

When he stepped out into the hotel garden, he waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. His ears perked as he listened for sounds at the other end of the dimly lit area.

Once his night vision adjusted, he eased away from the chateau and followed a pathway, walking as lightly as he could in his patent leather shoes. He followed the sound of voices.

Before he’d gone more than twenty yards, he saw the two silhouetted against the stone wall at the rear of the garden.

Striker stopped within twenty feet of them. He could reach them quickly, if needed. Instead of rushing the couple, he paused and watched. For all he knew, it could be a lovers’ assignation. A tryst in the garden, away from prying eyes.

Petrov turned and gripped the woman’s arms.

She reached up in an attempt to pry his hands loose from her arms. Her voice turned from a conversational tone to a higher pitched, strained nature.

Nyet,” she said and rattled off something in Russian. She tried to break free of the man’s grip on her arms.

When Petrov still hadn’t released her, her tone dropped low, the intensity increasing. A flash of movement brought her hands up through the middle of his arms, breaking free of his grasp. She grabbed his head, turned her back and flipped him over.

Petrov landed flat on his back.

In the next second, the woman had a knife pulled, the blade glinting in the moonlight.

Striker raced forward.

The silver-clad woman said something fast and furious in Russian as she held the knife over the man lying splayed out on his back.

Striker reached the woman before she could plunge the knife into the Russian’s neck. He grabbed her wrist and yanked it up behind her back.

“Damn it, let go of me,” she muttered.

Striker put his lips near her ear. “Ah, my dear, I found you finally. I believe they’re playing our song. Shouldn’t we be dancing?” He pretended to just take notice of the man on the ground. “What’s this?” He frowned down at the Russian. “Sir, have you fallen?”

The Russian grunted and struggled to get to his feet.

With his free hand, Striker reached down and gave the man a hand up.

The woman he held with the arm up behind her back stood straight, unmoving, her chin tipped upward in defiance.

As the Russian stood, he brushed leaves from his suit and glared at the woman in silver.

“Are you okay?” Striker asked. “Do I need to call for medical assistance?”

The Russian shook his head. “Nyet, I am quite fine,” he said in his stilted English. “Is this your woman?” He jerked his hand toward the woman in silver.

“Why, yes,” Striker said. “I came to get her because I’m ready to leave. Are you ready to depart, my dear?”

She gave him a narrow-eyed glance out of the corner of her eye.

Using her body as a visual barrier, Striker removed the knife from her hand, folded the blade and slid it into his pocket. He lowered lowered her arm to her side and slipped a hand around her waist, his grip firm. “Please, sir, allow us to see you back to the reception hall.”

The Russian adjusted his suit. “I do not need assistance to find my way back.” He turned and walked back toward the building.

Striker guided the woman in silver behind the Russian, giving him several yards of distance between them. Once the Russian reached the reception hall, Striker came to a halt, stopping just short of the building. He turned the woman around and lightly gripped her arms. He stared down into eyes as black as the night, the only light in their dark depths that of moonlight reflected off their liquid surface. “Who are you and why were you trying to kill the Russian?”

She spoke in Russian.

He shook his head. “English.”

Again, she spoke in Russian.

“I heard you curse in English. Talk, before I turn you over to the security guards.”

She stared up at him through narrowed eyes. “He attacked me. I was only defending myself.”

“Sure, and you always carry a knife to diplomatic receptions?

How did you get that past the security guards and metal detectors?”

She lifted a narrow shoulder. “A woman has to defend herself.”

Her English held no trace of an English accent; it was American.

“You speak American English. Are you American?”

The woman crossed her arms over her chest, tipped back her head and stared down her nose at the man. “What’s it to you?”

“Let’s just say that I like to know my enemies.”

“Am I one of your enemies?” She arched a black wing of a brow.

“I don’t know. Are you?”

Her eyebrows dipped. “Only if you’ve done something to hurt me or my family.”

“And is that what Petrov has done to you?”

Her mouth firmed into a thin line. “Perhaps.”

“Do you make it a habit of trying to kill those who hurt you or your family?”

“No, but if he hurts me again, I will defend myself.”

“In this case I will give you the benefit of doubt. In what capacity are you here?”

“I could ask the same of you.”

“I’m here as a paid escort. And you?” He waited for her response.

“Translation services.”

“Your name?”

She lifted a narrow shoulder and let it fall. “Alexa Sokoloff.”

The name didn’t ring a bell. None of the people who were attending the reception that were in the news had gone by that name. He’d have to put Charley to work discovering all there was to know about the raven-haired beauty. In the meantime, he’d do well to watch his back lest she plunge a knife in it.
James, Elle ; Sisters, Shadow. Shadow Assassin: Shadow SEALs. Kindle Locations (210-277). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Now preventing any problems with Petrov and the young lady only opens another can of worms. As they are reentering the reception room, Petrov is stabbed. Now with Alexa’s knife in his pocket he has to pass it off to some unsuspecting soul or they’d never get out of there.

Between that incident, a break-in of Alexa’s room, and rumors of the Russians skimming off the existing gas line things heat up really fast. Alexa has loads of secrets and Dane is determined to figure them out.

Of course having her stay with him for protection has his thoughts wandering in other directions as well.

Lots of suspense, intrigue, and action with a simmer to sizzle romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Elle James

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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Hot SEAL, Independence Day – SEALs in Paradise – Holiday Edition Book 6 by Elle James

Hot SEAL, Independence Day
SEALs in Paradise/Brotherhood Protectors
Holiday Edition Book 5
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


Navy SEAL who wants nothing to do with commitment, is forced to protect his neighbor and her unborn baby when her past comes calling.

Jack “Mars” Marsten lives in an apartment he never made a home. He made the mistake of marrying right out of boot camp to his high school sweetheart. When his wife left him during BUDS training, he vowed never to marry again. No entanglements.


Diedre Anne Tyler is pregnant and hiding from her ex-boyfriend who beat her when he found out she was pregnant. She told him she’d lost the baby, even though she hadn’t. She left him, changed her name to Anne Smith and is hiding in an apartment next door to a cranky Navy SEAL who barely says hello. Which is just as well. The fewer people who know her and where she is, the less chance of her ex finding her.

Until he does…

When trouble comes calling, Anne hides in her neighbor’s apartment. Jack wants nothing to do with the woman but can’t send her back to deal with her problem on her own. Stuck with the woman, he’s now responsible for keeping her alive until her baby is born. How hard could that be? Harder than he originally thought when he finds himself falling for the pretty mother-to-be. No-commitment Jack sinks deeper into his own kind of trouble where Anne is concerned.

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Jack ‘Mars’ Marsden is looking forward to two weeks leave. He’s heading to Montana where Hank Patterson has offered him a fishing cabin. It will be just him and the fly fishing he’s been wanting to try, peaceful and quiet.

Dierdre Anne Tyler had finally escaped her abusive boyfriend. She’s managed to stay off the grid, using only her middle name and waitressing for only tips she did manage a small apartment. Unfortunately her ex is a hacker and finds her, probably using the cameras around the city. Her escape plan has her climbing over to her neighbors balcony and hopefully hiding inside his apartment.

Jack isn’t home when Anne enters his apartment, when he arrives she hides in his closet. Unfortunately hunger hits her while he’s in the shower and she sneaks to the kitchen to check out the fridge for something to satisfy her cravings. Finding pizza she gets back to her hiding spot only to get sick, the pizza not sitting well due to her pregnancy. She barrels into Jack as she runs to the bathroom. Quite frankly she is lucky he didn’t shoot her.

While Jack gets why she’s in his apartment as she explains her situation, he doesn’t know why she won’t accept at least a little help. He doesn’t particularly care for the surprise of her stowing away in the back of his truck.
His first stop is Vegas and he figures that’s a good place to leave Anne. That is until her ex shows up and actually manages to wound him as well as destroy his truck. No way is he going to let Anne deal with this alone, he’d get her to Montana and Hank and the brotherhood protectors would keep her safe.

This is a favorite scene.

As the miles passed and the monotony of the desert stretched before him, Jack thought about the woman who sat beside him. He wondered what her story was. Why she’d ended up moving in with Derek. “Do you have some family somewhere?” he asked. “Should you let your folks know you’re all right?”

The lights from the dash cast a soft glow over her face. “No,” she said. “My parents were older when I was born. They didn’t think they could have children, until I came along. Unfortunately, my father died just before he turned sixty. My mother died shortly afterward of a broken heart. I had just started college and had to drop out. They didn’t have much in the way of savings. I guess they were expecting to live a lot longer. Dad was still working when he died of a massive heart attack. Their insurance was only enough to cover his burial expenses, and then the rest of it went toward my mother’s and paying off their credit cards. I couldn’t afford the house payment, so I had to let it go back to the bank. Without a college education, I had to work doing the only thing I knew how to do and that was being a waitress.”

“Is that where you met Derek?” Jack asked.

She nodded. “Yes. He came in every morning for coffee. If it wasn’t busy, he’d talk with me. He’d seemed nice enough. When he asked me out on a date, I said yes. I was living in a house that had been divided into several apartments. It was the only thing I could afford on a waitress’s salary and tips. Derek was very attentive and pleasant when I was so sad over the loss of my parents. He took me out to eat and to the movies. It was nice not to be sad. Since I didn’t have any family, he kind of filled that void. The owner of the house I lived in ended up going to jail for tax fraud. The house was sold, and the occupants had to find new lodgings. That’s when Derek suggested I move in with him. I wasn’t able to find any other rental property or anything I could afford. His offer seemed to be a godsend. I packed up my stuff and moved in.” She laughed without mirth. “And that’s when everything changed.”

Jack’s eyes narrowed. “It’s almost like he targeted you. Did you tell him you didn’t have any family?”

Anne nodded. “I thought of that. But, by then, it was too late. I was living with him. I was getting an idea of what he was doing with his computer.”

“And if he was hacking into computer databases, he might have wanted you under wraps to keep you from telling anyone else about his nefarious activities.”

She nodded. “I didn’t agree with what he was doing. It was wrong. But, more than that, I really wanted to be free of him.”

“And now?” Jack asked.

Her jaw hardened. “I’d like to put him away so he can’t hurt me or anybody else again.” Her gaze went to Jack’s ribs where Derek had stabbed him.

“I’m all right,” Jack assured her. “I’ve had much worse injuries. Although that doesn’t make what he did right. You’re lucky he didn’t sink that knife deeper into your throat.” Jack reached out and touched her neck just below where Derek’s knife had nicked her. “If he had stabbed you in just the right spot, you would’ve bled out before I could’ve done anything to help you.” His brow furrowed. “I shouldn’t have charged in like I did.”

“But it worked,” she said. “It caught him off guard.”

“Yeah, but he could just as easily have slit your throat instead of turning that knife on me.”

“You can’t second guess yourself,” she said. “You got me away from him.”

Jack’s lips twitched. “Seems like you got yourself away from him with that jab to his ribcage.”

“Only because he loosened his hold when he went after you,” she reminded him.

“Then we’ll have to agree we helped each other,” Jack said.

Anne nodded, staring straight ahead into the darkness. “Doing something is better than playing the victim.”

“Yes, it is,” Jack said. “You’ve got gumption.”

“And you’ve got skills,” she said. “I wish I had those same skills. I would never have been in the situation I am now.”

“You need to take some self-defense classes.”

She snorted. “That kind of thing costs money. I was barely making enough to pay the rent and put food on the table.”

“Maybe Hank can help you out with that, too,” Jack said.

Her lips formed a thin line. “I don’t like being a charity case.”

“No, but you’d like it even less being dead. Sometimes, you have to accept a little help until you can get on your feet.”

She nodded, her hand going to rest over her belly.

Jack’s eyes narrowed. “Are you feeling all right?”

“Yes, why do you ask?”

“You’re holding your stomach like you don’t feel well.”

She shifted her arm to the armrest. “I feel fine.”

“Are you hungry?” he asked. When she didn’t answer he went on, “Because if you are, so am I. Either way, if there’s a place to stop, I’ll grab something.”

“I’m going to keep track of everything you spend on me,” she said. “And someday, I will pay you back.”

“You’re paying me back by keeping me company.”

Anne laughed. “Why would you want company on a vacation when you set out to be alone?”

He lifted a shoulder and let it fall. “It’s not so bad. I’ve been with my team so long I thought I needed a break from them. The drive up from San Diego was just a little bit…” his mouth twisted, “lonely.”

“Maybe you just needed a vacation with fewer people. Maybe not with no people,” she said.

“Good point.”

“And I’m only with you until we get to Hank Patterson’s place,” she said. “Then you’ll get that peace and quiet you wanted so badly.”

He nodded. The thought of leaving her with Hank should have made him happy, but he felt somewhat responsible for her still and wondered what member of Hank’s team would be assigned to protect her. He trusted Hank because he knew him. He had served with Hank in Iraq. And though Hank was a good judge of character, Jack didn’t know the other members of Hank’s team, those that he might assign to protect Anne.

Jack would want to meet the guy Hank had in mind for the mission. He’d want to know his background and skillset.

Anne’s ex-boyfriend might not be a former SEAL or special ops soldier, but he was a sneaky bastard. Jack knew firsthand what he was capable of. He touched a hand to his ribs.

The guy was dangerous, and he was persistent. Though he’d gotten away, he wouldn’t give up easily. His misguided belief that Anne belonged to him would lead him back to find her. He’d wait for his opportunity and make his move when nobody was looking. Would Hank’s guy be ready?
James, Elle; Authors, Paradise. Hot SEAL, Independence Day. Kindle Locations (927-981). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Anne has managed to keep her pregnancy a secret but Sadie figures it out almost right away. With most of the Protectors on assignment, it’s decided that Anne would accompany Jack to the fishing cabin. It’s way off the grid with a satellite phone the only way to communicate.So no way for Derek to find them.

I love seeing Hank, Sadie and some of the protectors, they really do have most of the answers.

A page-turning read with a slow build relationship, fun, action and some sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Elle James

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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2020 Christmas Countdown: Dog Tags for Christmas – Brotherhood Protectors Book 16 By Elle James

Dog Tags for Christmas
Brotherhood Protectors Book 16
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


A former Army Ranger and the love of his life, strengthen their bond with each other when their furry friend and retired Military Working Dog goes missing.

Kujo and Molly want to further their relationship with a baby, but they’re having no luck. With Christmas fast approaching, they opt to relieve their stress over missed-conception and head into the Crazy Mountains for a winter escape. When Six, Kujo’s retired Military Working Dog, disappears into the wilderness, Kujo and Molly realize their love for each other is their strength, and the life of their best furry friend takes precedence. They call on the Brotherhood Protectors to help them search for the missing canine. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Six.

A shorter version of this story was included in the Dog Tags Anthology and has since been expanded with new content.

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This book opens with the birth of Hank and Sadie Patterson’s son. Kujo and Molly are very happy for them but at the same time sad. They’ve been trying for so long and the frustration is taking it’s toll. It’s Hank’s idea for them to relax and get away for a bit. The cabin in the mountains could be the perfect place to relax and unwind. They’ve also noticed some unusual behavior with Six.

This is a favorite scene.

Molly turned to Kujo. “What do you think about Hank’s offer?”
“What offer?” Kujo asked.“Weren’t you listening?” Molly shook her head. “He offered to let us use the hunting cabin in the mountains as a getaway. I have the next three weeks off for vacation from my job, and you don’t have another assignment with the Brotherhood until the middle of January. Why don’t we do it?”He glanced her way. “Just going up to relax?”She nodded.“Not going to be monitoring your ovulation cycle?” he asked.

She shook her head. “Not once.”

Kujo raised his eyebrows. “We’re not going to obsess over getting pregnant the entire time we’re up there?”

Molly sighed. “No. I’m kind of tired of the whole process.”

“Although I’m a stud,” Kujo puffed out his chest, “sometimes, it’s hard to perform on demand.”

She laughed out loud. “Like it’s ever hard for you to perform on demand.”

“True,” he said with a grin. “But it does take some of the fun out of it.”

She laid her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry.”

He shook his head. “Sweetheart, don’t be. I want this baby as much as you do. But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be all right. I’m just worried about you.”

“Well, if we can’t get pregnant,” Molly smiled brightly, “we can always adopt more retired working military dogs like Six.”

“He does seem a little bit restless lately,” Kujo remarked.

“Did you notice that his limp has practically gone away?”

Kujo smiled. “Yes, I have, and I’m happy for him.”

Molly glanced at him. “So, we’re doing it?”

Kujo grinned. “Looks like we’re going to the mountain cabin.”

Smiling broadly, Molly clapped her hands. “Good. I’m looking forward to it.” Maybe at the cabin, they could get some rest, and maybe get back some of their lusty mojo that had gone by the wayside with the push to make a baby.

When they arrived at their home, Kujo helped Molly down from the truck. She hurried inside to pack clothing and blankets for their stay in the cabin. She might be overpacking, but they needed enough supplies to stay a week in the mountains. In a basket, she packed sheets, down-filled comforters, towels and washcloths and a couple of candles for ambiance and light.

The cabin had no electricity or running water. For baths, they bathed in a nearby stream in the summer.

In the winter, they’d have to heat water from melting snow. It would take a lot of time to heat enough water over the open fireplace to fill the large metal washtub. For the most part, spit baths would have to do.

Six greeted them at the door, tail wagging in a somewhat subdued manner.

“Is it me, or is Six depressed?” Molly asked.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with him,” Kujo said. “But maybe we need to take him to a veterinarian before we go out to the mountain.”

Molly tilted her head. “Or maybe the mountain is just what he needs. If he gets worse, we can bring him back down.”

“He definitely hasn’t been himself lately.”

“Do you think he’s lonely?” Molly asked.

“He used to be in a kennel with dozens of other military working dogs.” His eyes narrowed.

Molly’s brows knit. “Do you think he’s missing other dogs?”

“He’s been with me for over a year,” Kujo said.

Molly’s lips tightened. “And with me almost as long.”

“We’re his pack now.”

“Well, I think he’s sad.”

He glanced sideways at her. “You think we need to get another dog to keep him company?”

Molly’s lips turned up on the corners. “Is that what you’d like me to get you for Christmas? A playmate for Six?”

Kujo shook his head. “I’m not much into Christmas. If a playmate is what will make Six happy, I don’t see a need to attach it to Christmas.” He glanced at Molly. “Don’t get me wrong. I want Six to be happy. But why wait until Christmas?” He went back inside and came out with a bag of dog food, Six’s dog bed and several chew toys.

Molly smiled. “I feel like those couples with small children. They pack everything and the kitchen sink.”

“For now, Six is our baby,” Kujo said.

“And he’ll always be,” Molly said. “He means as much to me as he does to you.” Maybe they didn’t need a baby to be happy…
James, Elle. Dog Days of Christmas. Kindle Locations (136-170). Twisted Page Ince. Kindle Edition.

The cabin seems to be the perfect escape even with a wolf howling out there. Six had answered that howl with one of his own and when he takes off I think my heart broke.

This is a very emotional story and I teared up more than once. I read both versions of this and I still have a problem with the situation with Six. It’s most disappointing because simple facts weren’t held to with regard to Military War Dogs.

3 Purrs for Elle.

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Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1

(Books 1-3)

Or Individually!



Elle James

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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They’re Here! Delta Team 3 – Special Forces: Operation Alpha

Nori’s Delta
Delta Team 3 Book 1
Special Forces: Operation Alpha
NT Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan


He won’t lose her again…

Delta Operative Heath “Woof” Davis has spent years living on the edge. Protecting a State Department official is just another assignment until he discovers that Eleanor Bonham is Nori Duncan, the one that got away. He can protect her from enemy forces in the Republic of Kazarus, but can he defend his heart from the woman who used to be his everything?

She’s not going to fall for a soldier boy…

High school was a long time ago, and Eleanor is no longer the heartbroken girl who ended things with Heath. She doesn’t have time for love, not if she’s going to rise in the ranks at State Department. But Heath is even more handsome than he was back then, and his years in the military have honed him into a man completely unlike the boy she once knew. With his sights set on her, how can she resist?

The mission in Kazarus is as important as it is dangerous. Eleanor and Heath will need to rely on one another if they are going to see the mission through. But will they be able to overcome past pain for the hope of a future?

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This book starts off with a bang as Eleanor arrives in Turkey on her way to negotiations in Kazarus. She was just settling in to wait for the rest of the team when she was approached by a man, seemingly with correct ID. The last thing she expected was for him to be part of an attempted kidnapping.

This is a favorite scene.

Eleanor spotted a chair in the far corner of the long room, well past the noise and chaos of the baggage pickup. It was just the type of quiet spot she needed. If she put her headphones on and focused on the upcoming meeting, she’d get just as much done there as she would if she went to the base.

She’d settle in and then let Beth know where to find her.

“Ms. Bonham!”

Eleanor slowed and searched for the sound of the voice. A man in fatigue pants and a buttoned-down shirt with rolled sleeves approached holding out an ID card.

“I’m glad I found you. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to,” he said in heavily accented English.

“Can I help you?” Eleanor shifted the bag on her shoulder and faced the man.

“I’ve been sent to pick you up. Your assistant’s flight was moved up so she arrived earlier and was taken to the base already. We are to meet her and the rest of your team there.”

Eleanor studied his ID card, looking up to be sure his face matched. She nodded and switched her trajectory, following the man toward the doors heading outside. She’d planned to review the file on Onur Demir while she waited for Beth, but she could do that while the man drove. Hopefully he’d let her work in peace. Most of the time, if she didn’t start up a conversation and gave only short answers to any attempts from the other person, she could get people to leave her alone pretty quickly.

She pulled her phone out as she followed the man. She could at least check messages quickly before they got in the car. The man was guiding her through the crowd, talking about the need to hurry to the base before night fell, though she didn’t know why. Adana wasn’t a dangerous city, as far as she knew.

She kept one eye on the path the man was making for her as they made their way along the walkway and slid her thumb over her messages.

“Ma’am, we should get to the car. There is time for that once we’re on the road.”

Eleanor wanted to roll her eyes but didn’t. Like she couldn’t walk and read at the same time.

As the crowd fell away behind them and they moved further along the walkway to a more isolated area, she opened a message from Beth and read the lines. Beth’s flight was delayed four hours and she wouldn’t be in until the evening. She said that Eleanor should go along to the base without her.

Eleanor’s steps faltered as she looked at the time the message was sent. Ten minutes ago.

So why had the man said her assistant was already at the base?

She looked over at the man at her side and slowed, moving away. “I’ve just realized I should really use the bathroom before we go.”

He shook his head. “There’s no time for that.” He reached for her arm, but she stepped back.

“I’ll be fast. If I don’t go now—”

He didn’t let her finish. This time when he reached for her, he caught his mark, his face going dark as he grabbed her with enough force to leave a bruise.

Eleanor’s heart slammed into overdrive and she felt a rush of panic and fear overtake her. Why hadn’t she called the base to confirm his identity? She knew better than that. Any change in plans should be confirmed in her job. But she’d been so focused on trying to prep for the role ahead of her that she hadn’t thought. Hadn’t stopped to take the time to do what she knew she should. And now she was going to pay for that mistake.

Fear kicked her into action and her self-defense training kicked in. She dropped her bags and twisted, wrenching her arm up and close to her body to pull the man off balance. He kept his hold on her but it had loosened. She turned into him and raised her foot, bringing it down on his knee at an angle. He let out a cry and she shoved as hard as she could before turning to bolt.

She ran, then, ignoring his shouts as she tried to get back to the busy section of the airport where she might get help. Blood rushed in her ears and she couldn’t get her body to move fast enough. It felt like she was swimming through mud with concrete blocks where her feet should be.

It was then that she realized there was more than just his shouting she was hearing. Someone else was calling to her. Eleanor looked up to see three large men running at her and she froze.

These guys weren’t like the man she’d just escaped from. With his medium height and build, he’d been hard enough to evade, even with the training she’d had. These men were a different story altogether.

If these men got hold of her, she’d be done. Each of them was bigger than a truck, well-muscled, and from the looks of them, a hell of a lot more skilled than the man behind her. It was in the way they moved. That loose-hipped swagger that said they knew damned well how to take apart anyone who got in their way. The confidence that oozed off of them, telling the world to move out of their way, or else. And it was an or else they were fully capable of following through on.

She needed to move. Now!

She couldn’t go backward so she swerved and headed toward the side of the terminal. Maybe she could evade them until she made it back toward the crowd and then lose them somehow in the fray.

Part of her knew that wasn’t remotely possible, but she wasn’t about to stop trying. She had to keep moving. If she didn’t, they would get her and this— whatever this was— would end badly.


Her lungs burned and she knew she was sucking in air way too fast. She was going to hyperventilate.

“Nori stop!”

This time, something about the shouted name began to chisel through the terror and panic. No one called her Nori.

At least not anymore.

Before she could piece together the disjointed memory of another time and place with what was happening here, she lost her footing. Her shoe caught on something and she was falling.

“Nori stop!” came the instruction again, command behind the tone.

Eleanor couldn’t stop. She pitched forward, putting her arms out as the ground rushed toward her.

But she didn’t land on the concrete as she thought she would. Strong arms caught her. She began to kick and punch out at the man who held her, knowing that to give in would mean they’d have her. If they got her away from here, she’d never get away. Hell, it might mean her death. She didn’t face danger every day in her job, but there was always the possibility of it.

“Nori, it’s Heath. It’s Heath Davis. I’ve got you. I’ve got you.”

Eleanor froze again as his words broke through the haze surrounding her. Heath?

She couldn’t make sense of the name, so out of place in her world now. So unexpected.

She looked up into the glass-green eyes of a man she never thought she’d see again. And certainly not in the middle of a kidnapping attempt outside a Turkish airport.

Whether it was the stress of the moment, the shock of seeing him again, or the insanity that now seemed to be firmly taking over her battered mind, she let out a garbled half-laugh, half-cry. Then she did the only thing she could in that moment.

She let herself slump into the hold of a man she’d once thought she’d loved. Once, a very long time ago when she was a very different person.
Lori Ryan. Nori’s Delta (Special Forces: Operation Alpha): Delta Team 3, Book One (Kindle Locations 165-222). Aces Press, LLC.

Heath ‘Woof’ Davis has known Nori for a very long time. Now his team has to keep her safe while she does some crazy negotiations with Demir at his Kazarus compound. Her team would be met by another Delta team and they would meet up the day before the meetings are to begin.

In spite of trying to keep things completely professional, Woof and Nori have an attraction that can’t be denied. Even when things go FUBAR.

Plenty of suspense, intrigue and some sizzling heat!

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

Lori Ryan

Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and ​has fallen in love with writing.

​She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.

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Destiny’s Delta
Delta Team 3 Book 2
Special Forces: Operation Alpha
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson


It’s been twelve years
since she picked the wrong brother…

Destiny Fisher is ready to move past the guilt and shame of losing a fiancé to the war in Afghanistan twelve years ago. She never should’ve said yes to his proposal in the first place, and she’s been plagued by her choices for over a decade.

She was his biggest regret…

Trent Dawkins has been married to the army ever since he walked away from his brother’s funeral…and the woman he loved. Delta Team Three is his family. Destiny has avoided him for all these years. Does seeing him remind her of his brother?

Can the two of them face their demons
and move forward?

A chance encounter leads to a flood of emotional baggage. Neither of them is certain they can repair the damage. There are so many obstacles. Distance, secrets, a threat to Trent’s life… Maybe they weren’t meant to be.

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Trent ‘Zip’ Dawson hasn’t had any interaction with Destiny since his brother’s funeral. Actually since she got engaged to his brother. He was in love with her back then and still is.

When he sees her at the Ugly Mug he’s determined to talk to her, maybe become friends again, something other than this nothing.

This is a favorite scene.

He grabbed her forearms when it seemed she might fall into him, though half of him thought he should have simply let her collide with his chest. At least he would have gotten a chance to find out what she would feel like against his body.

“I’d rather you look me in the eye and talk to me for a few minutes. We’ve been dancing around each other awkwardly for twelve years. I miss our friendship. I know my brother’s death was hard on you. It was hard on me, too. I miss him every day. Can’t we talk about it instead of ignoring it?” He had no idea why he was pushing her. This was probably a bad idea, especially since she’d done several shots.

She stiffened, grabbed his shirt, and tipped her head back to look him in the eye. “No, we can’t fucking talk about it.” She shook her head, which made her tilt to one side again.

He grabbed her waist and held her upright. She was drunk, but her tone shocked him. “Why not?”

She glared at him. “Are you really that dense?”

Apparently, but he didn’t get a chance to respond because she kept talking. Her words came out so fast that he could only stare at her with his mouth hanging open.

“Don’t you get it? I can’t be around you.” She shook her head hard. “Ever. Not ever again. It hurts to even look at you.” Her eyes brimmed with tears.

Trent couldn’t breathe. He’d been right. She missed his brother so much that she couldn’t face Trent.

“I was in love with you, Trent. I was in love with you, and you never knew it. I fucked up my entire life when I agreed to marry your brother. I never should have gone out with him on that first fucking date. It was you I wanted.” Her voice was cracking and loud, but the bar was too noisy for anyone to hear her.

Trent sucked in a sharp breath. He couldn’t process her words. His brain wouldn’t keep up.

She didn’t stop talking, her words spilling out with alarming clarity as if she were no longer under the influence of several shots. “Sean was so nice and so sweet and I knew how much he liked me. So, I said yes when he first asked me out. And I kept saying yes for months. And we kept dating. And you stopped talking to me and hardly looked at me. And everything changed between us. And I missed you so much it hurt. And I wanted you to see me. And you didn’t. And then your brother asked me to marry him before he left for boot camp, and I was stupid and said yes because I knew it was expected of me.

“Your mom was so in love with the idea of me marrying Sean that she never stopped grinning. I think she had china patterns picked out before he asked me. And you didn’t want me. So, I thought I should just do it. But it hurt. It ruined everything. The three of us were inseparable for thirteen years and then boom. It was over. And I had been feeling differently about you for over a year by then. And you didn’t feel the same. And I didn’t know what to do. And I made bad choices. And I have to live with them.”

Trent swallowed hard. My God. Oh my God.

Her small fingers fisted in his T-shirt and she shook him. Tears gleamed at the corners of her eyes. Her voice was hoarse and filled with emotion. “And now the entire damn town feels sorry for me. For the poor girl whose heart was broken when her high school sweetheart went off to war and was killed before we made it to the altar.” She gave a sardonic laugh and continued. “If they only knew how many other things we didn’t do before he died.”


“So, no. We can’t be friends, Trent. Not ever. And I can’t look you in the eye because frankly, I’m still half in love with you. And you don’t feel the same, and it hurts so badly that I can’t breathe when we’re in the same room. So, please. Let me go on with my stupid miserable life. If you see me again, turn the other way.” Those last words came out on a sob, the tears finally falling.

She sagged against him now, her forehead on his chest.

He wrapped his arms around her and held her tighter than he’d ever held another human in his life. Fuck me. He tried to process everything she’d just said, but it wasn’t possible. He needed hours. Days.

Destiny hiccupped and then groaned, shoving him back. “I’m gonna puke.” She turned and rushed toward the restrooms.

Trent followed her, staying right on her heels as she passed the line of people waiting, shoved the next person out of the way as someone left one of the three unisex bathrooms, and lunged for the toilet, reaching it just in time.

Trent grabbed her hair and held it back, waiting while she emptied the contents of her stomach. It took a while, which didn’t surprise him considering how much she probably drank.

“Is she okay?”

Trent turned to find one of her friends squeezing into the small room. The door was standing wide open and several people waiting in line had backed up.

“How much did she have before I approached?” Trent asked the blonde.

“Several shots.” She grabbed a handful of paper towels, dipped them under the faucet, and handed them to Trent as if he were in charge of this disaster. And she was not wrong. He was. In a perfect world, he would be in charge of everything that related to Destiny for the rest of his life.

He was still processing everything she’d told him, but he knew one thing for sure— she was not alone. And he needed to make sure she got that through her head.

He crouched beside her and wiped her face with the wet paper towels. She moaned as she slowly stood and met his gaze for a moment. “Shit,” she muttered.

The blonde spoke again. He tried to remember what her name was. Christa maybe. He hadn’t been paying close attention to all their names when they’d been introduced. “We have a hotel room. I’ll tell the girls we need to leave.”

He shook his head. “No. You stay. Enjoy yourselves. I’ll take her to my place. Let her sleep it off.”

Christa held his gaze, chewing on her bottom lip, considering his words. “I don’t think she would like that.”

He chuckled as Destiny leaned into him, grabbing his waist to remain upright. “I’m certain you’re right, but it’s the right thing to do. And we need to talk. Des and I. It would seem we should have done so years ago. We’ve both been living in separate Mansions of Misery.” He had little doubt her posse was well aware of how Destiny felt about him, especially judging by the look of hesitation on her friend’s face. “Don’t worry. I won’t touch her. I’ll fill her with ibuprofen and water and put her to bed. I’m not an asshole.”

Christa nodded. “Okay. You’re sure?”

“Positive.” For once in his life, he was certain of something when it came to Destiny.
Becca Jameson. Destiny’s Delta (Special Forces: Operation Alpha): Delta Team 3, Book Two (Kindle Locations 238-290). Aces Press, LLC.

Obviously, the conversation doesn’t go quite as Trent expected and leads to even more questions. To top it off he was compromised on his last mission and Demir has sent his brother on the mission to find Trent and kill him.

Keeping things from his parents is one thing but this new relationship with Destiny really deserves better. Clandestine meetings away from his home are perfect for now, at least they were until Destiny finds out he’s not out of the country on a mission. He’s right there in Killeen.

Lots of relationship ups and downs, and some hair-raising moments for Trent and his team as well as some sizzling moments with Destiny.

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 90 books. She is most well-known for her Wolf Masters series and her Fight Club series. She currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and Goldendoodle. Two grown kids pop in every once in a while too! She is loving this journey and has dabbled in a variety of genres, including paranormal, sports romance, military, and BDSM.

A total night owl, Becca writes late at night, sequestering herself in her office with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate, her fingers flying across the keyboard as her characters weave their own stories.

During the day–which never starts before ten in the morning!–she can be found jogging, running errands, or reading in her favorite hammock chair!

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Gwen’s Delta
Delta Team 3 Book 3
Special Forces: Operation Alpha
Lynne St. James


Shy bookstore owner Guinevere Dedmond resigned herself to living her dreams through the pages of the books she sells. But when she receives a mysterious call demanding she pay ransom to save her parents, her comfortable world erupts in chaos. Panicked, she turns to the sexy soldier who swept her off her feet, not knowing he’s part of an elite spec ops team.

Luke “Merlin” Forest and his Delta Team are no strangers to uncovering terrorist plots and stopping them, but when he discovers Gwen’s parents are involved, the risks and stakes get a lot higher. His sexy bookworm has given him a taste of stability that he’s never had before, and this mission threatens to blow that relationship out of the water. Risking his life has always been part of his job—but it just got personal.

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We met Gwen in Destiny’s Delta, she runs a book store named Camelot in Lancelot, Texas for her grandparents. They keep insisting that she take more time off, go out, meet people but Gwen’s perfectly happy with her life the way it is.

Her grandmother was with her in the shop when Luke ‘Merlin’ Forest comes in to browse their rare books. Grams is a bit of a matchmaker.

This is a favorite scene.

“Grams, I think I hear Gramps calling your name.” She had to do something to get rid of her before she drove the poor man out the door.

“I don’t—”

Gwen cocked an eyebrow.

Grams sighed. “Oh, all right. It was nice meeting you, Merlin. I hope I see you again soon.”

“I’m sure you will, Miss— Becca.”

“I’ll just refill this,” Grams said as she took Gwen’s unfinished lemonade and went through the doorway.

Gwen shook her head with a smile. “I’m sorry about that, Luke, or do you prefer Merlin?”

“Either is fine. Does anyone call you Guinevere or just Gwen?”

“Usually Gwen. My family has a few other nicknames, too, but I’m not sharing those.” She smiled as she saved her work and closed the laptop. The website would have to wait. “Did you come in for something in particular?”

“No, not really. It surprised me to find a rare bookstore so close to Killeen. Usually, I’m lucky to find a bookstore at all.”

“I’m not surprised. We’re a little out of the way, but Lancelot was a pull my grandparents couldn’t resist.”

“I totally understand. I bet they have a wonderful story equal to any of the King Arthur tales.”

“Oh they do, and if Grams has a chance, you’ll hear all about it,” Gwen said with a smile. “Can you really do magic?” The question popped out before she could stop it. Grams must be rubbing off on her.

Luke grinned. “Sorry, no magic. My teammates came up with it. They think I have a weird intuition thing that helps keep us out of danger. At first, they chose Warlock, but I threatened to kick their asses, and they decided on Merlin.”

“I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t want Warlock for a nickname, either. Are you in danger a lot?” Damn. She was turning into Grams. “I’m sorry, forget I asked. I don’t want you to have to kill me now.” Gwen could stare at him forever, but it turned her brain into mush and stupid stuff kept coming out of her mouth.

He chuckled; it sent shivers down her spine. “You’re safe and much too beautiful to kill.”

At this rate, it would take hours for Gwen’s cheeks to return to their normal color. “Thank you, but you don’t have to flirt to get a discount,” she said with a smile as she placed her reading glasses on the desk.

His eyes darkened to a molten caramel. “I don’t know who you’ve been dating, but they must be blind.”

If he was as good at everything else as he was at flirting, she might be in trouble. His deep voice raised goose bumps on her arms, and her palms dampened. As she watched his lips, she wondered what it would be like to kiss him.

“Nope. I’m just your average, geeky bookworm.” Gwen shrugged. There was no way a guy like him would be interested in her. But he’d definitely fuel her fantasies for a while.

“I’m sorry if I embarrassed you. I’ve been around the guys too much.”

“Nothing to worry about, it’s just me.”

“You should take her out,” Grams said from the other room.

Oh, my God. What is wrong with that woman?

“I’m so sorry…” Gwen ran her hands through her hair before she could stop herself. It was probably standing up in twelve different directions. Attractive.

“I was getting there, Becca, you just needed to give me a little more time,” Merlin said with a twinkle in his eyes.

Why wasn’t there an ejection button? Wait until she told her best friend, Belle, that her grandmother was making dates for her.

“I’m sure you have better things to do.” Gwen gave Grams the evil side-eye through the wall.

“No, I don’t. It’s my first day off in months, and I can’t think of a better way to spend it. Picking your brain about books would be more fun than I’ve had in ages.”

Maybe if she relented and agreed, he’d leave, and she could try to recover some of her self-esteem. “I guess we could go for coffee sometime.”

“You could go now. Gramps and I will watch the store.”

Merlin leaned close to Gwen so only she would hear him. She caught the scent of mint and the outdoors. It was like inhaling sunshine.

“Looks like you don’t have a choice. I promise I don’t bite… much.” Then he winked as he pulled away.

She hadn’t blushed this much since she was fifteen. There was something about him that turned her to mush. She wanted to say yes, even if it mortified her that Grams had pushed him into asking. It wasn’t like it would be a hardship to go out with eye candy like Luke. Plus, if she were honest, she wanted to learn more about him— a lot more.

Besides, Luke was right. If she didn’t go, Grams would spend the rest of the day telling her what a mistake she’d made.

After a quick smile, he said loud enough that Grams would hear, “I have a couple of unicorn books I’ve been hoping to find. We can talk about them while we have our coffee.”

It was the perfect motivation, and somehow, he knew it. Luke Forest was definitely too smart, and that smile… Oh. My. God. There was no way she could resist it.

“Okay, Grams. We’ll be at Beans. Call or text if you need me.” “I won’t. Have a wonderful time,” Grams yelled from the back room. Before Gwen could grab her purse, Gramps came out from the back with an enormous grin on his face. God save her from her matchmaking grandparents.

“I’ll talk to her while you’re out, Gwenie-bee,” he said as he dropped a kiss on her forehead. Then he gave Merlin the look over and nodded.

Merlin nodded back— it was probably some kind of military thing. “I’ll bring her back soon.”

“No need to rush,” came the voice from the other room.

Gwen couldn’t hold back the eye roll.
Lynne St. James. Gwen’s Delta (Special Forces: Operation Alpha): Delta Team 3, Book Three (Kindle Locations 168-216). Aces Press, LLC.

If Gwen thought her grandparents were bad they have nothing on Merlin’s team. In fact Zip and Destiny show up at the restaurant where they are having their first real date.

Things turn from fun to intrigue and suspense when Gwen’s parents are kidnapped. They were supposed to be on a buying trip in Egypt but had gone off from their itinerary. When Merlin’s team gets put on alert, things get more intense as Merlin has to keep a lot of things to himself.

With the CIA involved, you know there’s going to be some FUBAR moments and boy are there.

I love this story, with all it’s Arthurian references, Merlin’s books and OMG the sizzling heat!

5 Contented Purrs for Lynne!

lynne-st-james  Lynne St. James

Lynne St. James lives in the mostly sunny state of Florida with her husband, two dogs and two cats. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, taking pictures and sometimes even cooking, which makes her hubby really happy.If Lynne had her way she’d travel all over the world and set a new book in each place she visited. Maybe someday!

Addicted to coffee if she’s not at her desk you can usually find her hovering over her Keurig coffee maker waiting for the next cup to be ready.

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Ivy’s Delta
Delta Team 3 Book 4
Special Forces: Operation Alpha
NT Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


After years of resisting his teammates’ good intentions, big, bad and cranky Delta Force soldier, Magnus “Duff” McCormick, agrees to a blind date. Memories of his wife who died on their honeymoon derail his date with the beautiful redhead his friends introduce him to. When his date is attacked and almost stolen away, Duff comes to the rescue and sticks to her like glue, memories be damned.

Newly free-spirited Ivy Fremont, daughter of a senator, gave up her career as a lawyer to own and operate a gift shop, where mistakes won’t cost anyone his or her life. When her world is turned upside down and her life is threatened, her blind date and his team of Deltas launch a mission to Costa Rica to save her.

During their escape from a gnarly drug cartel, Ivy and Duff learn they have more in common than just their friends’ desire to get them together. Passions flare and walls around one intrepid soldier’s heart come tumbling down. They find in each other a reason to live and fight to give love a chance.

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At the end of Gwen’s Delta we see Magnus ‘Duff’ McCormick save a women from a fall in Gwen’s bookstore. In response she gives him a kiss that unsettles him, in this book we find out who that woman is.

Gwen has set up her best friend Ivy with Duff, it’s a party for someone leaving another team, but all of Merlin’s team will be there. Ivy is unsure about all of this blind date stuff and ironically so is Duff.

In spite of the eyes on them they dance and talk, but then Duff leaves abruptly. With Duff gone, Ivy doesn’t want to stay around either. Merlin escorts her to Gwen’s car and then returns to the bar. Neither of them notice Duff is still hanging around and it turns out it’s a good thing he was.

After Merlin returned to the bar, Ivy is attacked.

This is a favorite scene.

Then the man pushed away from his seat and hit Duff in the gut with his shoulder, sending them both away from the car.

Now on relatively equal footing, Duff’s hand-to-hand combat training kicked in. He twisted the man’s arm around and spun him to face away, shoving the arm up between his shoulder blades.

The man kicked out behind him, catching Duff’s ankle, making him loosen his hold to maintain his balance. He dove to the ground, jerking his hand free.

Before Duff could grab him, he rolled to the side, scrambled to his feet and ran into the shadows.

Duff started after him but stopped, afraid that if he went after the man, he’d circle back and get away with the car and the precious cargo in the trunk.

Duff ran back to the car and reached inside to trigger the latch release for the trunk. When the lid opened, he hurried around to the back.

Ivy sprang up and swung her fist, smashing it into Duff’s jaw. The blow stung, but Duff was pretty sure the force of her punch hurt her hand more than it hurt his face. “Hey, it’s me.”

She blinked several times, focused on his face, and raised her arms to him. “Oh, thank God.”

He lifted her out of the trunk and held her close, his pulse only just beginning to slow as a residual tremor shook his body with the aftereffects of almost losing her to a thug.

“I didn’t think I’d get to you in time,” he admitted. “I didn’t think anyone would miss me until it was too late,” she whispered, her breath warm against his neck. “Thank you.”

He buried his face in her hair, his arms tightening around her. For a long moment, they remained locked in each other’s embrace.

Duff would have held her even longer, but she spoke.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

“I should be asking that,” he said, leaning back to peer at her face. “Looked like he hit you pretty hard.”

She raised a hand to her temple where a lump and bruise were forming. “He did. I think he knocked me out. When I came to, it was dark. It took a moment for me to remember where I was. About that time, the trunk opened. I thought it was him coming back.”

She looked up into his face. “I hit you pretty hard. Are you sure you’re okay?”

He chuckled. “I’ve been hit harder. I’ll live.”

She cupped his cheek gently. “You’re going to have a bruise.”

“It’ll match yours.” He looked up. “We should call the police and report this incident. They might be able to trace the car and gather fingerprints.”

She nodded but didn’t move her cheek from where it lay against his chest. “I guess that means we have to go back inside.”

“Or we could use my cellphone and call from here,” he suggested.

“Yes, please. I don’t want to cause a stir.”

“Sweetheart, you didn’t cause it. Whoever that was who attacked you did.” He let her legs slide to the ground and held her with an arm around her waist, pressed against him while he pulled his cellphone from his back pocket and dialed 911.

After he reported the attack to dispatch, he brought up Merlin’s number. “I’m going to let the guys know what happened. Are you okay with that?”

Ivy glanced around the back alley behind the bar and shivered. “The more the merrier, I always say. Or would it be closer to the truth to say there is safety in numbers?”

“Safety rules.” He hit the call button and waited for Merlin to pick up.

“Miss us already?” Merlin answered.

“Need backup. Outside behind the bar. ASAP.”

Merlin didn’t question. “On it.” A moment later, the back door burst open and his team piled out.

“What happened?” Merlin asked.

Gwen appeared behind him. “Oh, dear God, Ivy!” She rushed toward her friend. “Are you okay?”

Ivy nodded. She didn’t move out of the circle of Duff’s arm. If anything, she leaned into him, and he liked it. “I’m okay. Thankfully, Magnus was here.”

Duff explained what he’d seen and how he’d responded.

“Son of a bitch,” Merlin muttered. “He might still be out there.”

Immediately, they split up and searched the alley, going around the nearby buildings, bushes and shrubbery in yards close to the bar.

They returned, each shaking his head.

Merlin stood in the glow from the bulb over the back door of the bar. “Why would he go after Ivy?”

“Good question,” Duff answered. “Could be a crime of convenience. Bastard could have been waiting for any female to exit the bar alone.”

“I should have stayed outside watching until she got clean away,” Merlin said. “I thought she would be all right since she was inside Gwen’s car, all the windows rolled up. Hell, she was pulling out of the parking lot.”

His team automatically turned, forming a perimeter around them. A siren blared, getting louder, heading to their location. Zip ran to the front of the building and directed the police and an ambulance to the rear where they waited.

The policemen questioned Ivy and Duff.

“The car was stolen,” the policeman in charge of the scene said. “We’ll take it to the impound lot and dust it for prints.”

Emergency medical technicians checked Ivy and Duff. Ivy shook her head when they asked if she’d wanted them to take her to the hospital.

“We’ll get her to the ER,” Duff said.

“I don’t need to go to the ER,” Ivy insisted.

“Oh, honey.” Gwen touched her arm. “You were knocked unconscious. You could have a concussion.”

“I’ll be fine.”

Duff’s arm around her waist tightened. “You’re going.”

She stiffened in his arms and frowned up at him. “You’re not my boss or my mother.”

“No, but you don’t have a vehicle.” He nodded as a couple of wreckers arrived.

“I could drive Gwen’s car,” she said. “It’s only a broken window and seatbelt.”

Duff shook his head.

“He’s right, Ivy,” Gwen said. “At the very least, let the ER doc decide if you’re fine.”

Ivy drew in a deep breath and let it out. “Okay.”

“Merlin and I can take you,” Gwen offered.

“I’m taking her,” Duff announced.

Ivy leaned into him. “He saved my life. I trust him to get me there.” Her brow puckered. “If it’s not too much trouble.”

“It’s not.” Duff’s arm remained around her waist. So far, she hadn’t objected, and he wasn’t letting go. The image of the man hitting her and dumping her in the back of the car stuck with him, making his chest tighten.

He couldn’t help thinking about what might have happened if he hadn’t gotten to her fast enough. If he’d left before she’d been attacked.

The scenarios that could have been triggered those feelings of desperation he’d had when he’d tried to find Katie in the water after their boat capsized. He’d dived down numerous times, to no avail. He hadn’t been able to save Katie, but he’d been there for Ivy.

He didn’t want to let her go, afraid something else might happen to her if he did.
Elle James. Ivy’s Delta: Delta Team 3, Book Four (Kindle Locations 563-624). Aces Press, LLC.

This really is just the beginning for Ivy and Duff. He insists on staying with her to follow concussion protocols. In the process they both learn a lot about each other.

However it’s Ivy’s mother that sort of puts some clarity on Ivy’s attack. It seems the senator is causing waves regarding sales of firearms to send across the border.

Plenty of action, suspense and sizzle in this page-turning read.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Elle James Elle James

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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Hope’s Delta
Delta Team 3 Book 5
Special Forces: Operation Alpha
USA Today Bestselling Author
Riley Edwards


Hope Mitchell lived her life on the outskirts, no attachments, no friends, no family. All of this by design. All of it because she knew the pain that came when you lost someone who meant something to you. She’d sworn off men long ago, the last time she fell in love she’d invited the devil into her heart and she’d lost, huge. That was to say, she knew better than to let the larger-than-life Delta Force operator into her life. Hope recognized the risk but Beau had promised her he would fight for her and he did—until he left her more broken than he found her.

Beau “Jangles” Talbot had promised himself he wouldn’t fall for a woman while he was still in the Army. He’d seen it too many times before—a good woman getting worn down by the demands of being a military wife. But when he meets the gorgeous bartender Hope Mitchell, he does the unthinkable and falls in love. Then his worst nightmare comes to fruition and Hope is thrown into a dangerous situation because of him and his teammates.

One mission—five women—everything is on the line. Jangles and his teammates have one shot at getting it right, one chance at extraction, or every man on his team loses the women they love.

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Beau ‘Jangles’ Talbot has been seeing Hope on the sly for quite a while. She takes care of his cat Buster while he’s off on missions, and sleeps with him when he’s home. Suddenly he realizes she’s more, has been for a while and he’s not sure how he feels about that.

Hope manages the Ugly Mug for BF, a disabled veteran who also owns the shooting range next door. She doesn’t want serious and her relationship with Jangles is perfect the way it is. She’s also come to realize she has feelings for Beau, something she can’t afford to have.

Beau is what she always calls him in private and when she calls him Jangles he gets annoyed. He’s Beau with her and nothing less than that will do. Beau broke down her walls and she told her story, one that had me sniffling. Then she tries to break up with him to protect her heart. Beau’s having none of that though.

This is a favorite scene.

“Hope, baby, look at me.” Jangles’ words might’ve been soft but the demand was clear. She didn’t look up. Instead, she kept her eyes trained on the now reassembled Beretta and said, “You know, it would be really awesome if for once in my life something could go right. Just once have something go my way. Like, say, when I break things off with a hot Delta operator, he walks away without showing up at my place of business a few hours later to torture me. That’d be super great.”

“Hot Delta operator?” He chuckled. “I don’t even know what that is. Is Delta even a real thing?”

“I’m not being funny.”

“You’re wrong.”

Hope’s gaze lifted from the gun to Jangles and her eyes narrowed. “Why are you here?”

“I’m taking you to lunch.”

“No, you’re—”

“Babe, I get why you bagged on breakfast. I gave you that. But you’re leaving here to go directly to the bar to work another six hours. You’re eating before you do that.”

“How big of you to give me that,” she mumbled.

Unfortunately, Jangles didn’t respond to bitchy bait.

“You need to fire that before you give it to the owner?” Jangles gestured to the Beretta.

“Of course I do. I never give someone back a gun I worked on without firing it first.”

“Right. Grab the nine and let’s roll. I’m starving.”

“Then you should mosey on out to your truck and go get food.” Jangles’ lips twitched and her irritation soared. “Seriously, Jangles, you should go. I’ll grab something at the bar.”

Then in a supremely annoying maneuver, Jangles grabbed the gun off the workbench and turned to the door.

“I changed my mind.” Oh, thank God. “I’m Beau. Just Beau. Anytime, anywhere, whether I got you naked in bed or having a beer at the bar. No more of this Jangles shit.”

“That’s how you introduced yourself,” she returned.

“No, it’s not. That’s what you heard Woof call me when I was standing at the bar waiting for your fine ass to finish serving every fucking cowboy in the place that chose your side of the bar instead of Jake’s. Which, babe, I fully understood at the time, because you’re gorgeous. But now it just pisses me the fuck off when every patron with a dick would rather wait five minutes to be served by you than not wait and have Jake pour them a drink.”

Hope knew she looked like a fish when her mouth opened and closed several times before she sputtered, “Are you nuts?”

“Yeah, Hope, I am. I’m totally fuckin’ nuts because I fell for the one woman in Texas that’s gonna fight me to the bitter end because she refuses to admit that we have something more than great sex. And so you don’t twist this, what I mean by more is that I have feelings for you. I care about you. And we’re gonna explore those feelings. You can bullshit all you want, say I mean nothing to you, but that’d be a lie. I know. You know. We both fuckin’ know it. So let’s go throw a few bullets downrange and hand this motherfucker off to whomever it belongs to so we can leave and I can feed my woman.”

Hope swallowed past the lump in her throat.

The self-loathing slithered around her heart and squeezed tight.

“You can’t care about me.”

“Wrong, Hope. I can and I do.”

“No, you can’t. There’s nothing to care about.”

“Wrong again, baby. And straight up, I’m gonna show you just how wrong you are.”

“I don’t want you to.”

“I know you don’t. That’s why I know I’m doing the right thing.”


“You got two choices, Hope. Test this gun so we can go to lunch or I lock this door and start educating you on all the reasons why I care about you. And I’ll start by telling you I know this tough-chick exterior you got is bogus. I know because I’ve seen you with BF. He’s old, he’s grumpy, he’s pretty much an ass to everyone unless they’ve served their country in one way or another. He gives you shit and you shovel it right back, but you do it in a way that shows you love him. You’re loyal to him, you bust your ass for him, and don’t deny it because I see it.”

“You are nuts!” Hope shouted and threw her hands in the air.

“You already said that. What else you got?”

“You’re not paying attention. Which is surprising considering who you are. You notice everything. I don’t want more. And trust me, I’m not worth—”

“Now you’re pissing me off,” Jangles growled his warning.

“See? I’m a pain in the ass. You should—”

Hope didn’t finish. In two quick steps, Jangles was across the room, his mouth slammed down on hers, his tongue shoved in— uninvited but not unwelcomed, and damn it all to hell, she kissed him back. Then her hands went to his shoulders, trailed up the back of his neck, and finally, her fingers slid through his hair as she deepened the kiss. God, she loved his hair, loved that he wore it longer than military regulations. It made him look like a step above badass but one down from a pillaging Viking.

Hope took and tasted, drank from him. It wasn’t often he allowed her to control the action— not the kissing, touching, or sex— Beau was all about him giving to her. He led the way, he guided them where he wanted them to go. Sometimes that guidance was rough and demanding, sometimes it was slow and coaxing. Whatever the speed, it was magnificent. But right then, he’d passed the torch and she knew it was costing him. Hope felt it— his pent-up energy was rolling off him in waves, washing over her, upping her excitement tenfold.


She needed more.

Hope didn’t want to acknowledge the truth, she wanted to deny her feelings, pretend she wasn’t in love with him. Beau Talbot would wreck her. If she had any chance of keeping what was left of her sanity intact, she needed to let him go.

But what if I let him in?

A sliver of hope pierced her heart and apprehension coursed through her blood. But she couldn’t deny it— couldn’t deny that she wanted Beau to bulldoze through all her walls and make her face her demons.

Blood-soaked dreams or a beautiful future…

She didn’t deserve a future.

But Beau did.
Riley Edwards. Hope’s Delta (Special Forces: Operation Alpha): Delta Team 3, Book Five (Kindle Locations 600-651). Aces Press, LLC.

Things start looking up for them when the unthinkable happens. Not only to Hope but also Nori, Destiny, Gwen and Ivy.

Woof, Zip, Merlin, Duff and Jangles go on the mission of their lives. I was really glad to see Tex in this one, he’s the best there is!

I couldn’t put this book down, I laughed, cried my eyes out and was surprise my kindle didn’t melt from the sizzling heat between Beau and Hope.

5 Contented Purrs for Riley!

Riley Edwards is a bestselling multi-genre author, wife, and military mom. Riley was born and raised in Los Angeles but now resides on the east coast with her fantastic husband and children.

Riley writes heart-stopping romance with sexy alpha heroes and even stronger heroines. Riley’s favorite genres to write are romantic suspense and military romance.

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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

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!

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.”


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.”


“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!

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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