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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
By
NT Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

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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.

“Eleanor!”

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
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson

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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.”

Fuck.

“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
By
Lynne St. James

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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
By
NT Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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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
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Riley Edwards

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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.”

“But—”

“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.

More.

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

Featuring
USA Today Bestselling Authors

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

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The Rookie
The Intelligence Unit
USA Today Bestselling Author
Kimberly Kincaid

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

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

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

This is a favorite scene.

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

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

“It’s pretty scary, isn’t it?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“In that apartment building by the park?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plenty of suspense, intrigue and some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Kimberly!


Night Owl
A Raptor Novella
USA Today Bestselling Author
Rachel Grant

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

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

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

This is a favorite scene.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Do you want to see it?”

“I’d love to.”

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

“You mean, right now?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And that’s her.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Contented Purrs for Rachel!


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

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

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

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

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

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

A Vanderbilt. Jesus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A wonderful throw back story with everything on point.

5 Contented Purrs for Cat!


Levi
Lighthouse Security Investigations
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

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

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

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

This is a favorite scene.

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

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

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

“What happened next?”

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

“Fuck.”

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

“So, you ran.”

“Yes. I ran.”

“What was your plan?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Did you get all of that?” he asked.

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

“Got it. Checking out her story now.”

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

“Claire. Claire!”

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

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

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

“Nope.”

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

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

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

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

“It’s true. It’s all true.”

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

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

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

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

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!


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

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

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

This is a favorite scene.

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

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

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

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

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

“I love you.”

“I know that, too.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His lips twitched. “Marry me, Roxana.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Contented Purrs for Cristin!


Scout
USA Today Bestselling Author
Janie Crouch

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

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

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

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

This is a favorite scene.

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

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

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

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

No way that was happening.

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

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

That part hadn’t been covered in class.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Wyatt, you need help.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because he wanted to protect her.

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

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

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

He shook his head. “Your house.”

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

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

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

5 Contented Purrs for Janie!


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

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

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

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

This is a favorite scene.

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

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

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

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

Law grimaced.

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

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

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

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

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

“Were?” she asked gently.

“We lost Xavier a year ago.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Isn’t that the same thing?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Law nodded.

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

“So, do you live at Camp Pendleton?”

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

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

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

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

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

“How’d that work out?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plenty of suspense along with laughter, tears and sizzle!

I definitely want more of this Night Storm crew!

5 Contented Purrs for Caitlyn!


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

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

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

This is a favorite scene.

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

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

And he was headed her way.

Kylie trained her sights on him.

The man let loose another burst of bullets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She ducked back and lay flat against the floor

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

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

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

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

Kylie leaned around the corner and aimed her rifle.

The shooter slammed another magazine into the machinegun.

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

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

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

She aimed, fired and missed the first guy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Several shots were fired.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

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

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Rachel Grant’s Bio and Links

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

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

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

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Cat Johnson’s Bio and Links

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


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Maryann Jordan’s Bio and Links

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

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

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

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

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


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Cristin Harber’s Bio and Links

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

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

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Janie Crouch’s Bio and Links

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

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

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

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Caitlyn O’Leary’s Bio and Links

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

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

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


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Elle James’ Bio and Links

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

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

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

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Hot SEAL, Bachelor Party – SEALs in Paradise Wedding Edition Book 1/Brotherhood Protectors by Elle James


Hot SEAL, Bachelor Pary
SEALs in Paradise Wedding Edition Book 1
Brotherhood Protectors
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

If you want something done right,
pick the best man for the job

As the best man, Navy SEAL “Rooster” Jacob Fowler is only responsible for two things—the bachelor party and getting the groom to the wedding on time. Enlisting the help of the wedding planner, the groom’s little sister, he has a hell of a bachelor party planned. While trying unsuccessfully to keep his hands off the wedding planner, he’s orchestrated a party complete with a stripper popping out of a cake. What could possibly go wrong?

What can go wrong will,
at the worst possible moment

Casey Wesson needs her brother’s wedding to go off without a hitch. She’s promised the bride, the groom and a potential client that she’s an expert and can manage a wedding beautifully. Her brother is counting on her, his bride trusts her, and her business depends on this wedding going off without a hitch.

When the hot chick didn’t show up to jump out of the cake, Casey has no choice but to fill in. Wearing a disguise and lots of makeup, she pretends to be the stripper. It’s that or the bachelor party is a bust, the first failure in her perfectly planned wedding weekend. One thing leads to another and she ends up in bed with the best man, waking up to a missing groom the day before the wedding.

On a mission to locate the groom, the best man and the wedding planner discover a plot to stop the wedding and a love they never expected.

NOTE:
** BACHELOR PARTY ** is part of the Brotherhood Protectors Series. It is also in the “SEALs in Paradise” connected series. Each book can be read as a stand-alone. They do not have cliffhanger endings and do not have to be read in any particular order.

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It’s Hawk and Kalea’s wedding starting with the bachelor party. Casey, Kalea’s best friend is a wedding planner and has thought of everything to make things run smoothly from beginning to end. She even comes up with the perfect fix for when the stripper hired to jump out of the cake calls in sick. A wig and heavy make-up should do the trick. Plenty of fun and laughter as the cake proves to be flawed and she falls out of it onto Jacob.

Even though he’s figured out who the ‘stripper’ is Jacob couldn’t deny his duty to the bride as Hawk tries to leave the party alone.

This is a favorite scene.

She ran after Jacob and caught his arm. “Did I offend you?” He looked down briefly.

“No, but the groom is leaving. I’m his designated driver.”

Her eyes rounded. “Of course. Go.” Then she frowned. “Wait. How much have you had to drink?”

“One beer,” he said, still moving and picking up speed.

She shook her head and ran faster, the heels making it more difficult. “I’ll drive.”

“No way,” Jacob said over his shoulder.

“I was paid to make sure the groom got back to his hotel safely,” she said. “Give me a minute to get dressed, and I’ll drive you two in my vehicle.”

“I haven’t had enough to impair my driving.”

She met his gaze, her eyes narrowing. “I’m driving.” Casey hurried ahead to catch up with Hawk as he waved down a taxi pulling up to the curb.

“Hawk,” Casey called out. “Wait. I’ll drive you to the hotel.”

With his hand on the open door of the taxi, Hawk paused and glanced over his shoulder, his brow furrowing when he saw her running toward him.

Casey leaned into the open passenger window window of the cab and handed the driver one of the twenties she’d plucked from her G-string. “I’ve got this. Go get a burger.”

The taxi driver grinned, his gaze going straight to her cleavage. “I might just stay for the show.”

She gave him one of her eat-shit-and-die glares and jerked her thumb.
“Get going.”

Hawk backed away a step, swaying slightly. “I might have had a few too many, but I’m not too drunk to know that I’m not getting into any vehicle with you. I promised Kalea I wouldn’t touch the stripper. I’m keeping that promise.”

“Glad to hear it. She’ll be impressed.” Casey pulled her key fob out of her bra and clicked the unlock button on her SUV. “I’m driving. You can sit in the back seat. If you’re worried Kalea will find out, you can tell her I’m going to the hotel with this guy.” She tilted her head toward Jacob.

“Is that so?” Hawk’s lips spread into a wide grin, and he clapped a hand onto Jacob’s shoulder. “Good for you, man. I didn’t think you were going to let me out of your sight long enough to enjoy the evening.”

“And I’m not going to let you out of my sight until you’re tucked into your own bed in your hotel room,” Jacob said.

Thankfully, he didn’t deny Casey’s claim that he was taking her back to his hotel room. “I’m driving,” she said. “My SUV is over there.”

“I have my own vehicle.”

“Play it safe. Even if you haven’t had much to drink, I’d rather you didn’t end up in jail when you have a wedding to attend on Saturday.” She drew in a breath and let it out. “Casey tasked me with making sure the groom and groomsmen got back to the hotel to sleep off whatever mischief they might have gotten into. Please, let me do my job.” Again, she tried batting her lashes, a skill she’d never quite mastered. Something big and wispy fell into her eye, making her blink uncontrollably.

Jacob reached out and plucked the offensive item from her cheek. He lifted her hand and laid one of her fake eyelashes in her palm. “You can drive after you remove the other one.”

She stared down at her lash, her cheeks burning. Then with a quick movement, she ripped the other lash off, wincing when the glue held on a little longer than she expected. “There,” she said and lifted her chin toward Jacob.

“That’s better.” He nodded toward the SUV. “Lead the way. And oh,” he held out the shorts she’d flung at him, “you might want to put this on. If we are pulled over, we wouldn’t want our driver charged with indecent exposure.”

She grabbed the shorts and covered her naked butt with them, pinching the Velcro into place. “Now, can we go?”

Jacob glanced at Hawk. “You all right with letting Candy drive?”

“As long as she’s better at driving than she is at dancing,” Hawk said, a slow smile spreading across his face. “No offense.”

“None taken,” Casey said.

“Follow me.”

“Gladly,” Hawk said.

Jacob frowned.

“What?” Hawk held up his hand. “Kalea said I couldn’t touch. She didn’t say anything about looking.”

Casey shook her head and marched as best she could in the platform heels to her SUV. She removed the shoes before climbing in behind the steering wheel. No use risking a wreck because she wasn’t wearing the proper foot gear. Thankfully, she’d stored all her clothes in the trunk and wouldn’t have to return to the bar to get anything. She was afraid that if she left the two men alone, they’d leave without her. She wanted to make absolutely sure the groom made it to his hotel room okay before she let him out of her sight. Her promise to the bride, her best friend, hinged on her making this wedding perfect.

Her business depended on it. Nothing like a little pressure to make her night more complicated. She resisted the urge to pluck the string out of her butt crack and slid into the driver’s seat of the SUV.

Jacob held the door for the groom to drop into the back seat. Then he shut the door and climbed into the passenger seat beside Casey.

She would rather have had him sit with the groom in the back seat. Already, she’d been too close to this man too often that evening. Every time they touched, she felt tingly, like an electric current was coursing through her veins. The more distance between them, the better she could concentrate on what needed to be done to pull off this short-fused wedding.

Yes, distance between her and Jacob was what she needed.

As soon as she saw Hawk to his door, she’d skedaddle back to her own apartment and get a restful night’s sleep. Thankfully, all the preparations were scheduled or done. All she had left to do was a rehearsal and to make sure the bride and groom arrived at the church on time.

She had this wedding in the bag.

What could go wrong?
James, Elle. Hot SEAL, Bachelor Party: A Brotherhood Protectors Crossover Novel (SEALs in Paradise) (pp. 38-43). Twisted Page Inc LLC. Kindle Edition.

Apparently no one ever told Casey to never ask the question “What could go wrong?” and go wrong it does. Starting with a missing groom the morning after the bachelor party.

With Hank Patterson showing up to attend the wedding, the investigation gets into full swing. With Jacob and Casey following some leads. One thing they didn’t do right away was tell Kalea. She isn’t going to be pleased.

Crazy is an understatement as Hank assembles a team to go after Hawk.

Laughter, fun, tears, action and heat as Casey and Jacob search for clues and find love in the process.

I know I’m going to love all the books in this Hot SEAL set.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

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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Hot SEAL, Hawaiian Nights – SEALs in Paradise Book 11 by Elle James



Hot SEAL, Hawaiian Nights
SEALs In Paradise Book 11
Brotherhood Protectors Crossover
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Former Navy SEAL’s first assignment as a Brotherhood Protector is to secretly guard an Hawaiian cattle baron’s daughter from a kidnapping threat

Jace Hawkins (Hawk) thought he was headed home to Montana after leaving the Navy SEALs, but his first assignment as the Montana-based Brotherhood Protectors is to fly to the Big Island of Hawaii to secretly protect a cattle baron’s daughter. His goal is to keep the lady alive while pretending to be a ranch hand. The ranching is second nature since he grew up on a ranch in Montana. Protecting the daughter is where the challenge lies.

Kalea Parkman has had free rein of the 130,000 acre Parkman Ranch since she was big enough to fit her feet in stirrups. She refuses to curtail her freedom just because she’s had a couple of near-misses with a potential kidnapper. But when a mainlander cowboy hires on as a ranch hand, he manages to shadow her every move. And the man has skills…with the animals…and with her. Even though he’s as sexy as sin, he’s no less annoying.

When attempts to take her increase, the new cowboy insists on spiriting her away to a remote cabin tucked away in the far reaches of the ranch. They must rely on each other to stay alive until the threat is neutralized, while hopelessly resisting a desire that rivals the heat of the Kilauea volcano.

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As Jace ‘Hawk’ Hawkin’s leaves the SEALs, he’s also got a job lined up with the Brotherhood Protectors. Hank Patterson has sent a plane for him, and he expects to be taken to Montana. Surprise!

As he’s boarding the pilot hands him a folder which contains his first assignment. In, of all places, Hawaii. Seems he’s uniquely qualified for this assignment.

The only daughter of the owner of largest and oldest cattle ranch in the US, is being pursued. She has narrowly escaped capture by quick thinking. Kaylea is not one to be caged, not by whoever’s after her and certainly not for her own protection. She’s slipped away from bodyguards before, so the goal here was for her not to know that’s what Hawk is.

This is a favorite scene their first day out.

Kalea was in the barn slinging a saddle over her horse’s back.

Maleko had a gray appaloosa tied to a post. He gave Hawk a nod. “Mr. Parkman said you wanted to ride Pain Killer. We call him PK for short.” The gelding was steel gray except for white stockings and white hindquarters speckled with spots of black.

PK pulled at the lead rope, trying to catch a glimpse of Hawk. He pawed at the ground and tossed his head, as if to say, Bring on your best.

Having ridden broncs in the rodeo, Hawk knew he could hold his own. And if he was tossed from the back of the beautiful animal, he’d get back up in the saddle and show PK he wasn’t afraid.

Apprehensive…but not afraid.

Hell, he wasn’t getting any younger at thirty-three years old.

Maleko handed Hawk a brush and disappeared into a tack room.

Hawk smoothed the brush over the horse’s body, neck and belly.

By the time Maleko returned with a saddle blanket and saddle, Hawk had the horse shining and calm. He laid the blanket over the animal’s back and settled the saddle over the blanket. When he tightened the cinch, PK puffed out his belly.

Hawk left the stirrup up and fit the bridle over the horse’s nose and slipped the bit between his teeth. After he had the straps in place, he returned to the leather strap around PK’s belly and tightened it another two inches. He wasn’t a green cowboy who didn’t know the saddle would be too loose once he’d gotten out of the barnyard. He adjusted the stirrups to a length that would fit his legs and led the horse out into the yard.

Kalea was already outside, mounted and heading for the gate to a pasture. She wasn’t going to wait on him. If he wanted to learn about the Parkman Ranch and what his duties would be, he had to keep up.

Hawk stuck the toe of his boot into the stirrup. As he swung his leg over the saddle, PK spun around. He was ready, holding onto to the saddle horn until his leg was completely over and he sat hard on the saddle. Once he had both feet in the stirrups, he felt at home. Yeah, he’d be sore after a day’s riding, but being back in the saddle was where he’d longed to be.

So, it wasn’t Montana. The lush pastures and blue skies of Hawaii were beautiful, and the powerful muscles of the horse beneath him promised to be a challenge he was prepared for.

Kalea leaned down to unlatch the gate, walked her horse through and paused briefly on the other side. She didn’t walk away, leaving the gate open. Other animals could get through if she did that. No, she had the sense of a cowgirl. No matter how confined she might feel about leading the new hand around, she wasn’t going to risk losing or injuring animals animals just because she was irritated.

Hawk gave PK a gentle nudge with his heels. The gelding leaped forward, nearly leaving Hawk behind. If he hadn’t been as skilled as he was in the saddle, he would have been left sitting on the ground.

Instead, he leaned forward and breezed past Kalea.

The ranch owner’s daughter closed and latched the gate. Then she took off at a trot across the pasture.

Hawk followed, urging PK to keep up.

Challenged by a horse in front of him, PK picked up speed and galloped after Kalea and Pupule.

Soon both horses ran neck-and-neck, one trying to get ahead of the other.

Hawk let PK have his head, the wind in their hair, the ground a blur beneath them.

As they approached another gate, Kalea slowed her horse to a trot then a walk.

Hawk did the same.

Kalea shot a glance toward him, her hair windblown and beautiful, her eyes shining bright. “So, paniolo, you can ride.” She gave him a brief, approving nod. “Perhaps you can get the gate, this time.”

Hawk nudged his horse forward, leaned down and unlatched the gate. PK danced backward. In order to hold the gate open, Hawk had to dismount. When he did, PK jerked his head high and pulled backward, slipping his reins free of Hawk’s grip. Caught between holding the gate for Kalea and catching his horse, Hawk held the gate.

Kalea and her horse moved through the opening, PK lunged, pushing past Kalea and her mount, and raced back toward the barn and house, which had been out of sight for the past fifteen minutes.

Kalea laughed out loud. “You might as well start walking. It takes a while to get back to the barn on foot.” Her laughter followed her as she rode away, leaving him standing there, without a horse and without his body to guard.

“Damn.”

PK had already disappeared over a hill, heading back to the barn.

Kalea was moving at a trot, quickly putting distance between them.

After promising her father that he’d take care of Kalea, Hawk couldn’t go back to the barn. That would leave Kalea unprotected for far too long. The only choice he really had was to follow Kalea and hope he could catch up with her sooner than later.
James, Elle. Hot SEAL, Hawaiian Nights: A Brotherhood Protectors Crossover Novel (SEALs in Paradise) (pp. 53-56). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Trying to keep information from Kaylea is next to impossible, especially since she set him up.After being shot at on their way back from Kaylea’s private little oasis on the ranch. She agrees to pretend they are a couple, and to listen to him where her safety is concerned.

I was mesmerized from the first page, from the travel to the ranch itself to the history of the island and so much more wound into this story. Lots of harrowing moments as Hawk protects her.

I loved seeing Hank and Swede two of my favorite Brotherhood Protectors.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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Cape Cod SEAL Rescue – Brotherhood Protectors Book 10 by Elle James



Cape Cod SEAL Rescue
Brotherhood Protectors Book 10
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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Grieving Navy SEAL widower, John Decker, commemorating the two-year anniversary of the day he lived and his wife died, is dragged back into life by a riptide and a blonde he can’t get out of his thoughts. Plagued with survivor’s guilt, he’s reluctant to enter a new relationship, until he meets a feisty bartender with attitude and curves to go with it.

Roxi Lanier was the typical young teen in the city, happy, full of life and bulletproof, until she became the victim of a violent crime. Her mother moved her to Wellfleet on Cape Cod, away from the scene of her misfortune to start over. Fourteen years later, she’s still afraid to date and be intimate with a man, the scars of her past overriding the happiness she craves. Though she’s an independent owner of a thriving beach bar, she has yet to find success in love. Tides change when she witnesses a suicidal widower diving headfirst into a riptide.

Decker and Roxi struggle to stay afloat through the wreckage of their pasts and the storms of the present to sail into a future together.

Note: This book was previously published as Love On The Rocks, but has since been edited and contains new content.

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This book starts off tugging at my heartstrings. Decker is a widower, the accident that took his wife’s life also led to his medical discharge from the Navy. Hank Patterson tries once again to entice him to come to Montana and join the Brotherhood Protectors, but he declines claiming to be content and satisfied living on the beach in Cape Cod.

Roxi owns the Gone Fishin’ Bar and Grill it’s a cozy place loved by locals and tourists alike. Decker frequently has dinner there and finds himself more than a little attracted to her. She frequently sees him on her runs with her dog Otis, sitting on his porch watching the ocean.

This particular night, filled with guilt, finds Decker heading into the ocean for a punishing swim to assuage the pain. Seeing him dive into the waters has Roxi scared he would be caught in the riptides caused by the approaching storm.

This is a favorite scene.

A figure detached itself from the stilts of a beach house ahead and walked across the sand to the edge of the water.

By size and the breadth of his shoulders, Roxi guessed the figure to be a man, and not just any man, but the one who’d been on her mind more and more with each passing day—John Decker.

Her heartbeat skittered against her ribs and she slowed to a stop, her bare toes curling in the wet sand.

Decker’s face remained turned toward the sea and he wore nothing but a pair of shorts or swim trunks. Moonlight glimmered off his naked chest, turning it a silvery blue. As he walked toward the water his pace increased until he ran into the surf lapping against the shore.

What was he doing? The tide report indicated the water wasn’t safe with the coming storm churning the sea.

Decker struck out, swimming hard out to sea. His arms sliced through the water, powering him farther away from shore, closer and closer to the area known for its wicked riptide.

“Decker!” Roxi ran toward the point at which he’d entered the water and waved. “Decker! Come back!”

Either he was ignoring her shouts or he couldn’t hear them with his head in the water, because he continued on his race toward a potentially deadly situation.

“Decker!” Roxi glanced to the right and left. The lifeguard towers were on the other side of the pier, too far to go for a life preserver.

Decker was too far out to hear her voice. If she could get close enough to warn him he might have a chance to turn around before he got sucked out even further by a riptide. Roxi waded into the water, her pulse pounding her stomach knotted. She was a good swimmer, having lived the last fourteen years on the Cape. She knew how to ride the tide into shore, but even she wasn’t naive enough to swim in riptide situations.

Cupping her hands around her mouth, Roxi shouted again.

Decker’s arms slowed and he glided to a stop.

Roxi gathered another breath. The dark head, now only a speck on the ocean, disappeared.

“Decker?” she whispered, her heart lodged in her throat. Then she dove into the water and swam as hard as she’d ever swum toward the spot she’d last seen him. She pushed back all of the warnings Frank and her mother had drilled into her head as she rose on the swell of a small wave and scanned ahead.

There. A hundred yards ahead, she spied Decker’s dark head, drifting south, carried by the current.

Otis barked from the shoreline, the sound carrying out to where Roxi paused to breathe, her lungs burning with the need for oxygen. She drew in a deep breath and yelled, “Decker!” A wave slapped her in the face, and she sucked salt water into her lungs. For a moment she sputtered, coughing and fighting to keep her head above the water as she cleared her lungs. When she could breathe again, she searched for Decker’s dark head on the water’s surface.

The swells had increased, and she couldn’t see him. Treading water, she turned toward the shore where Otis danced along the water’s edge, barking furiously. Once again, she turned toward the open sea, but couldn’t find Decker. The tide was pulling her south, past the pier. If she didn’t start angling toward the shore, she might not make it back. Now the fight to find Decker became a struggle to save herself. If she could get to shore, she would send out a rescue boat to find Decker, which she should have done in the first place.

Forcing herself to remain calm she struck out toward shore, swimming with the current while cutting at a diagonal toward the shore. The tide pulled at her like hands gripping her legs, dragging her toward the open sea. She fought against its clutches, kicking as hard as she could to break away. It seemed that for every inch forward, she lost two, hauling her backward. Her arms ached and the muscles in her legs burned. Roxi slowed and treaded water long enough to rest and catch her breath.

A figure surfaced beside her, startling her, but she was too tired to scream.

When she realized it was Decker, she almost cried in relief. Moonlight glistened off his wet hair, making it appear blue-black. His powerful shoulders rose above the surface as they bobbed with each swell.

“Don’t give up.” Decker grabbed her hand and pulled her against him with one arm, his free one stroking the water to keep them both afloat.

“I’m okay,” she insisted, not feeling okay, but unwilling to let him take on the burden of her, when she shouldn’t have swum after him in the first place. What had she been thinking? “I’m just resting before I swim again.”

“Let me know when you’re ready.” A wave splashed over them before he could continue. “We’ll make it to shore together.”

She nodded, the salty tang of water on her lips, a surge of hope fueling her tired muscles. Roxi kicked hard headed toward the sandy beach.

Decker paced her, silently swimming at her side, occasionally reaching out to pull her along.

Slowly, they edged toward land, and finally, Roxi’s toes encountered sand. She laughed as she staggered to her feet and slogged through knee-deep water toward a frantic Otis.

A strong arm slipped around her waist adding strength to her flagging reserves.

When they reached dry land, Roxi dropped to her knees on the gritty sand and rolled onto her back, completely drained of energy.

Otis licked her face, whining and shaking all over.

“Are you okay?” Decker knelt and leaned over her, peering into her face.

She forced her lips to curve upward. “I will be.”

“Good.” His brows dipped into a V and moonlight reflected off his eyes. “Then why the hell were you swimming alone this late at night?”
James, Elle. Cape Cod SEAL Rescue (Brotherhood Protectors Book 10) (pp. 19-24). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Roxi finds that her attraction could possibly lead to more, but is Decker ready to move on.

I love Otis, he’s such a loyal dog even if he’s scared of thunder and lightening. It’s Otis that causes them to have to ride out the storm in Decker’s cottage on the beach. A scary situation that is overridden by the heat between these two.

I can’t wait to see what Elle comes up with for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

New Release!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

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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Montana SEAL Undercover Daddy – Brotherhood Protectors Book 9 by Elle James



Montana SEAL Undercover Daddy
Brotherhood Protectors Book 9
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


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Jilted at 27, Kate Phillips focused on her career and left marriage and children to her twin sister. She’s on track to realize all of her dreams, until her sister disappears, leaving her little girl on Kate’s doorstep. Normally awkward with children, Kate has a lot to learn about childrearing and cuddles. The lively three-year-old teaches Kate how to open her heart to the possibilities. But someone wants to find Kate’s sister, and is willing to use the child to lure her out of hiding. Kate turns to the Brotherhood Protectors for a bodyguard with daddy skills.

Chuck Johnson lost his family in a car crash when his daughter was only 2 years old. Since then, he retired from the Navy, worked for the DEA and now works for the Brotherhood Protectors. He never intends on marrying again or having a family. Plans have a way of changing, and some families find each other. His mission is to keep the feisty, career-minded beauty and little girl safe while his team locates the sister. His challenge is to do so without losing his heart in the process.

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Elle James does it again, finds the perfect way to find her hero the woman he needs.

Chuck Johnson is afraid to find love, he had it all once, a wife and daughter that he tragically lost. He doesn’t think he could survive that again, so he avoids the connection.

Kate Phillip’s twin sister Rachel drops off her child on Kate’s doorstep. Her goal is to protect the child. The only thing she tells Kate is to contact Hank Peterson at Brotherhood Protectors in Eagle Falls. Not one clue as to the reasons for this sudden disappearing act.

Now Chuck has decided not to take an assignment involving a child again, he is so attached to little Maya but knows he has to back away so her father can form a bond with her. When Hank presents his next mission he almost refuses, until he meets Lyla.

This is a favorite scene as Chuck struggles to decide.

In keeping with his promise to himself to steer clear of relationships, he shook his head. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to keep it on a professional level.”

Kate shot a glance toward Hank. “Perhaps Mr. Johnson isn’t so perfect for this job after all.”

“I can do anything,” Chuck protested.

She arched an eyebrow. “Can you do as requested? Because I need someone who can follow orders as well as give out a few of his own.”

His back stiffened. “I’ve done my share of following and giving orders, Kate.” If he put too much emphasis on her name, so be it. She’d questioned his ability to do a job.

Her eyes narrowed on Chuck, and then she faced Hank again. “My sister recommended you. Is this the best that you have? Because I need the best. I need someone who will lay down his life for us.”

Hank touched her arm. “It’s all right, Kate. With Chuck, you’ll be in good hands. And he has the perfect skill set for the job.”

Chuck frowned. “You keep saying that. I assume any one of your men has the same skill set I do.”

“They do…for the most part.” Hank grinned. “You have one more skill most of the others do not.”

Trying to figure it out himself, Chuck gave up. “And that is?”

Sadie said, “You have daddy skills. I knew you were the right man for the job as soon as Kate mentioned that requirement.”

“Requirement?” Chuck glanced from Sadie to Hank, and then to Kate. “I don’t understand.”

“Mama?” a little voice called out.

Everyone in the room turned toward the sound.

A little girl with bright, blond hair emerged from the hallway leading to the bedrooms.

Kate hurried toward the child. “Lyla, you should be asleep.” She patted the child’s back awkwardly.

“I can’t find Sid.” Lyla looked up at Kate. “I can’t sleep without Sid.”

“Who’s Sid?” Chuck asked. “Is there another child?”

Kate shook her head. “Sid is Lyla’s stuffed sloth.” She knelt on the floor in front of Lyla. “Did you look under the covers?”

She nodded. “I want you to look,” she whispered.

Chuck’s heart constricted. His Sarah hadn’t been much younger than this little girl. Seeing Lyla standing there in a T-shirt too big for her little body reminded him so much of Sarah. His chest squeezed so hard, he could barely breathe.

Kate took Lyla’s hand and faced Chuck. “This is Lyla. She’s the reason I need someone with daddy skills. I need to blend into wherever I land. And that means we have to look like a family. Mama, Daddy and Lyla. Anywhere we go, we have to pretend we’re a unit. No one can know she isn’t mine.”

Panic tightened his throat. Chuck held up his hand. “I can’t do this.”

“Can’t, or won’t?” Kate hit him with that direct stare. “I need one hundred percent commitment.”

“Why do you need protection?” Chuck bit out. “What are you afraid of?”

“I’m afraid of whoever broke into my apartment and tried to take Lyla. I don’t know who they are or why they were after her, but I have to keep her safe. I promised.”

“Promised who?” Chuck asked. Her lips firmed into a narrow line. “That doesn’t matter. What matters is that we protect Lyla in the best way we can. I need everyone who comes into contact with her…with us…to think we’re a family. The people looking for her will be looking for a lone woman and child, not a family of three.”

Chuck studied Kate, his eyes narrowing. “How do we know you didn’t…” he lowered his voice to a point Lyla wouldn’t hear or understand, “How do we know you didn’t kidnap Lyla? Is she even yours to hide?” His gaze shifted from Kate to Hank. “Do you know?”

Hank’s lips quirked. “You have a good point, Chuck.” He smiled at Kate. “Kate is actually Lyla’s aunt. Her sister left her on her doorstep and disappeared.”

Chuck crossed his arms over his chest. “And how do you know Kate didn’t off her sister to steal her daughter?”

Lyla leaned her cheek against Kate’s leg. Kate’s eyes filled. She blinked several times and lifted her chin. “I love my sister. I wouldn’t off her.” She patted Lyla’s head, without picking up the child.

Chuck couldn’t understand why the woman wasn’t taking the child into her arms to reassure and comfort her. Impatience and concern for the little girl won out. Chuck bent to Lyla. “Hey, do you want me to hold you?”

The child stared up at Chuck, clutching her hands against her chest. Her big, blue eyes showed fear at first, but then she yawned and held up her arms.

Chuck lifted Lyla into his arms and held her close. He gently rubbed her back until she laid her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. She drew in a deep breath and slept.

Kate’s eyes rounded. “How did you do that?”

“Do what?” Chuck asked.

Sadie chuckled. “The man has a magic touch with small children. Emma took to him from the moment he held her in his arms.”

Hank nodded. “Exactly like Lyla just did. That’s why I knew he was the right man for the job.”

Chuck ignored them all and carried the sleeping Lyla back down the hallway.

“Second door on the right,” Sadie called out.

He found the door and entered the room with a full-sized bed in the middle of the floor decorated in light blues and grays.

A small child’s blanket lay in the middle of the bed. He’d found the right room.

Careful not to wake Lyla, he laid her down, covered her with the blanket. He found Sid, the sloth, hiding under a pillow, and slipped the stuffed animal beneath her arm. Then he backed away slowly.

At the door to the bedroom, Chuck paused to look back at Lyla and wondered what his own little girl would have looked like at that age. Sarah never made it to three.

His heart contracted, squeezing hard in his chest.

Lyla lay sleeping, her silky blond hair fanning out around her on the pillow, her stuffed animal tucked beneath her arm.

He’d just convinced himself the best course of action for him was to steer clear of women with small children. They reminded him too much of what he was missing, and he got too attached.

He still missed being with Maya every day, like he had when she and Daphne were under his care in witness protection.

But if he didn’t do this job, who would? He thought through the other men on the Brotherhood Protectors team. Only a couple had been around kids. And those were on other jobs.

Chuck stared at Lyla lying there, so innocent, so vulnerable, and he struggled inwardly.
James, Elle. Montana SEAL Undercover Daddy (Brotherhood Protectors Book 9) (pp. 17-21). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

With no idea where Rachel has gone or what kind of trouble she’s in. Chuck, Kate and Lyla embark on the pretense of a family as Hank sets Swede to the task of locating Rachel.

Once they have some clues Kujo and his dog Six travel to do some recon, in hopes of spotting Rachel.

Curious neighbors create more suspense and the intrigue will keep you on your toes as you read. The attraction between Chuck and Kate is palpable and the desire for more haunts them both.

Don’t miss this book!

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

New Release!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

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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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Amazon Author Page

Montana Ranger’s Wedding Vow – Brotherhood Protectors Book 8 by Elle James



Montana Ranger’s Wedding Vows
Brotherhood Protectors Book 8
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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Hot Delta Force Cowboy and sexy female Army Ranger
plan a wedding to trap a saboteur

Dallas Hayes muscled her way through Army Ranger training only to be considered a curse on her all-male unit in an operation in Syria. When half the team is killed, she’s left Injured, losing the lower portion of her leg and is medically discharged from the life she loved in the Army. A fight with her physical therapist at Walter Reed lands her at the Brighter Days Rehab Ranch in Montana with an offer to join the Brotherhood Protectors.

Retired Delta Force soldier, Vince “Viper” Van Cleave, did his time in the Army but hasn’t managed to fit into the civilian world. What can an expert sniper do with his life when not shooting at enemy combatants? A widower, his first assignment is to masquerade as the groom of a former Army Ranger female and stage a wedding to smoke out a wedding saboteur. Together, they make a formidable team that might just make it to the altar intact.

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Vince ‘Viper’ Van Cleeve’s first assignment for the Brotherhood Protectors seems like a piece of cake, provide escort to Hannah and Taz as they head to the airport to fly to their honeymoon destination. With Chuck driving the limo, everything seems to be going right on schedule, until it isn’t. A close call that leads to a very interesting assignment.

Dallas Hayes is a former Ranger, having lost part of her leg in combat she is now at Brighter Days Rehab Ranch to figure out what her life will be going forward. Hank Patterson has been looking forward to the day that he can ask her to join his Brotherhood Protectors and now he has the perfect reason. He needs Dallas to be Viper’s bride to catch whoever is sabotaging weddings in the area, more important now that Taz and Hannah had been targeted.

This is a favorite scene as they accept this mission.

“Well, since you two are officially on board, I’ll get back to the ranch and have my computer guy dig into all the backgrounds of anyone we can come up with who might have it out for one of our lucky couples.”

“Start with people having anything to do with the planning and setup,” Viper said.

“You might also check on anyone local who could have been jilted or stood up before the ceremony,” Dallas said.

Viper gave half a smile. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?”

“Or a man,” Dallas added. “Men can be just as cranky about being left at the altar as women.”

“You know this from experience?”

Dallas’s green eyes flashed. “I read.”

Viper chuckled. “I’m betting you don’t indulge in bride magazines.”

“Never.” Grimacing, Dallas shook her head. “My tastes lean toward news and crime fiction.”

“So, you know all the best places to hide the bodies,” Hank said.

Viper raised his eyebrows. “Should I be worried?”

“Only if you scorn me.” Dallas’s lips quirked.

If Viper wasn’t mistaken, Dallas almost smiled. He liked the sparkle in her green eyes, so different from Emily’s blue-gray eyes. And the fiery auburn hair was a stark contrast to Emily’s golden blond. And Dallas was taller, stronger and less ladylike than Emily. All of her physical traits made Viper’s agreement to the charade easier.

If Dallas had looked at all like Emily, Viper would have politely declined the assignment and asked for someone else to take his place. Having a blond-haired, blue-eyed partner would have been a constant reminder of what he’d lost and that he hadn’t been there for Emily to keep her from dying.

Dallas was as different from Emily as night from day. He could treat her like one of the guys. No sweat.

As long as he ignored the little spark of electricity that shot through him every time he touched her. Why that happened, he wasn’t sure. From what Viper gathered, Dallas was all Army Ranger. She was one kickass soldier, and she’d rather shoot a man than kiss him.

As much as he didn’t want to admit the fact, the shine of her fiery, auburn hair and the flash of her green eyes were sexy as hell. Not his type, but definitely sexy. His type had been Emily…blond and blue.

Now…he didn’t know what his type was.

His gaze swept over Dallas’s shiny auburn hair, her athletic figure and the way she wore her jeans. Having a prosthetic device in place of her lower leg did nothing to detract from her raw sexuality. And the kicker was, she didn’t know just how sexy she was.
James, Elle. Montana Ranger’s Wedding Vow (Brotherhood Protectors Book 8) (pp. 38-40). Twisted Page Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Who knew that planning a fake wedding could lead to romance. I loved the way Viper broke through Dallas’ insecurities. The descriptions of his kisses will have you wanting to sample one yourself.

No matter what Dallas does, she can’t deny the fact that when Viper kisses her she wants more. However she doesn’t feel she deserves any of it. I loved her fumbling with the wedding planning, her balking over wearing a dress, and her realizing she really wished it was all for real.

Several hair-raising incidents, very few clues and a surprise twist will have you turning the pages.

Now I need to see what’s next in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

New Release!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

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.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Amazon Author Page

Montana SEAL Daddy – Brotherhood Protectors Book 7 by Elle James



Montana SEAL Daddy
Brotherhood Protectors Book 7
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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Former Navy SEAL enters the fight of his life
to protect the mother of his child from killers
who wish to silence her testimony in a murder case

After the sudden disappearance of the amazing woman he fell for on vacation in Cozumel and nearly losing his own life on a politically volatile mission in Syria, Brandon Rayne “Boomer” leaves the SEAL brotherhood and signs on with the private security agency Brotherhood Protectors in Montana. Determined to forget the girl and maybe even try for a real life and start a family, he embraces his new life.

While on vacation in Cozumel, Daphne Miller fell in love with a handsome SEAL. On the verge of committing her heart and life to him, she becomes the unwitting witness to murder. Forced into witness protection, she doesn’t realize she’s pregnant, the product of the hot fling with the sexy SEAL. A year later, still pining for what could have been, with a baby girl to protect, Daphne’s safe house is compromised. In an attempt to evade the people trying to kill her to keep her from being a star witness in a big court case, she heads to Montana to find the only person she knows can help, the baby’s father.

Determined to put his desire for Daphne on the back burner, Boomer focuses his skills and cunning on keeping her alive long enough to testify. Together, they vow to protect baby Maya from being used as a pawn to control the outcome of a critical court case.

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Daphne was on her ‘honeymoon’ alone, her fiancé had died before the wedding but she had made the promise to go. She met Boomer when she was crying her heart out and they quickly became friends. Things were fun with someone to share experiences with and those fun days turned to steamy nights as well. It was her last night when she slipped from his bed not wanting to say good-byes that she witnessed a murder. Chuck saved her from being discovered by the killer taking her into protective custody to save her life.

Boomer now works for Brotherhood Protectors, his first assignment is to help in the protection of a woman and her child. The other person protecting her, Chuck, was also a SEAL but works for some undisclosed agency. The thing Boomer doesn’t know is that the child is his.

This is a favorite scene as they settle into the safe house, and Daphne corners him as he gets the generator started.

“Boomer,” Daphne touched his shoulder. “We need to talk.”

He shrugged off her hand and straightened. “We have nothing to talk about.” He stared into her gaze, briefly, and then bent to grab the cord’s pull handle.

He pulled so hard he broke the handle off the cord, and still the engine wouldn’t start.

Daphne crossed her arms over her chest and raised her eyebrows. “I get the feeling you’re angry with me.”

“I’m not angry,” he denied, though his response sounded terse, even to his own ears.

Her eyes narrowed. “What I don’t understand is why you’re mad at me.”

He threw the handle on deck. “I know why you left Cozumel. I know you didn’t have a choice. I know what happened. You don’t have to give me the detailed explanation. I get it. Just don’t expect me to be happy about it.”

Her brows rose higher. “You know?”

“I know.” He bent to retrieve the handle, tied it back to the cord and yanked with a little less force. The engine turned over, chugged a couple of times and then roared to life.

Over the roar of the motor, Boomer heard Daphne’s words, “Then you don’t want anything to do with your baby girl?”

Boomer’s pulse raced, his stomach clenched and the snow swirling around his head made him strangely dizzy to the point he thought he was hearing things that couldn’t be possible. “What did you say?”

She shook her head, her brows furrowing. “It’s okay. I don’t expect anything from you. What we had in Cozumel was a fling. Neither one of us had any expectations. We didn’t discuss life after the island. We certainly didn’t discuss children. Maya and I can make it on our own once this murder thing is cleared up.” Daphne spun toward the door, her eyes glistening. “I’ve done my part. At least, now you know.”

Boomer grabbed her arm and yanked her back around. “Woman, what are you talking about?” He bent and switched the generator off. The engine rumbled to a stop, leaving nothing but the wind howling through the trees for noise.

“You heard me,” Daphne said. A tear rolled down her cheek. She reached up to swipe it away. “You had the right to know. Now that you do, I don’t expect anything from you. Maya is my responsibility. She and I will be fine.”

Boomer shook his head, his eyes narrowing. “Back it up about four paragraphs.”

Her brows dipped. “Why?”

“I want to be sure I’m hearing this right. You said your baby girl.”

She nodded. “I did. Again, you don’t have to do a thing. I’m perfectly capable of raising our daughter on my own. I don’t need your help.”

“Our daughter?” Boomer felt as if he’d been punched in the gut. “As in yours and mine.” He touched a finger to her chest and then to his. “Not yours and Chuck’s?”

She looked at him as if he’d grown a set of horns. “What are you talking about? Maya is your daughter, not Chuck’s.”

Boomer’s head spun. Maya was his child? The baby in the chalet was his flesh and blood?

Daphne’s brows dipped lower and then raised into her hairline. “You thought Chuck and I…that Maya is Chuck’s daughter?” She laughed, the sound strained and tight.

Boomer stood straight, unable to move, not a single word coming to his lips. The truth swirled around him like a tornado, sucking the air from his lungs.

“Do you think I would hop from your bed into Chuck’s so quickly?” Daphne pushed away from him. “You bastard.” She yanked her arm free of his grip and stepped back. “I thought we had something going on in Cozumel. That we had a special connection.” She snorted. “I guess it was only on my side. I was just another girl in a sailor’s port.” Another tear slipped from the corner of her eye. She swiped it away and squared her shoulders. “Well, to hell with you. You had the right to know you have a child, but now that you do, you can stay the hell away from both of us. That suits you, doesn’t it? Maya and I would hate to cramp your lifestyle.” She marched toward the door.

Before she could reach for the handle, Boomer jerked her around and slammed her against his chest. “You were not just another woman in a port. When I woke up the next morning and you weren’t there, I didn’t know what to think. I looked for you, but you were gone, everything about you seemed to be wiped clean. I didn’t know how to contact you, and the airport didn’t have any evidence of your departure. You were gone, as if you never existed.” That empty feeling of despair washed over Boomer like it had been yesterday when he’d woken up to find his bed empty, the woman he’d fallen for so completely missing.

“I had to disappear,” Daphne whispered. “Otherwise, I would have been gone for real.”

“I get that.” Boomer brushed the next tear away with the pad of his thumb. “But you had a baby.” He shook his head to clear the cobwebs and confusion. “Why didn’t you let me know sooner? I could have been there for you.”

She shook her head. “You were deployed. I had to stay in hiding. I couldn’t contact you. They were watching, waiting for me to make a move. Hell, I didn’t even have to make a move. They found us anyway.”

Boomer shoved a hand through his hair as the enormity of her words sank in. “Maya isn’t Chuck’s baby.”

Daphne snorted. “If you knew anything about me and if you’d have quit thinking the worst of me, you’d have known.” She wrapped her arms around her middle, tucking her hands into the fabric of her jacket. “I love Chuck…like a father or big brother. In fact, I don’t know what I would have done without him over the past year. But the father of Maya is the rat-bastard standing in front of me, thinking I could be fickle enough to hop from one bed to another.” She turned to walk back into the house. “I don’t need this aggravation. I have a life, and it began with Maya.”

When Boomer tried to stop her by placing a hand on her arm, she glared down at his fingers curled into her jacket. “I need you to protect me and my daughter. Other than that, leave me alone.”

Boomer’s chest tightened and words rose up from his throat. Before he could utter them and put his other foot squarely in his mouth, he swallowed hard. The angry, determined look on Daphne’s face stopped him cold.
James, Elle. Montana SEAL Daddy (Brotherhood Protectors Book 7) (pp. 64-68). Twisted Page Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Many hold your breath and hang on tight scenes as things heat up in more ways than one.

Suspenseful and tense, laughter and tears, you won’t be able to stop turning the pages.

I love all the Brotherhood Protectors and Chuck quickly became a favorite too.

I am now reading the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

New Release!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

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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Montana Dog Soldier: Brotherhood Protectors Book 6 by Elle James



Montana Dog Soldier
Brotherhood Protectors Book 6
By
Elle James

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Booted from the army after sustaining a shrapnel injury that left him with a limp, Joseph “Kujo” Kuntz is angry with himself and the world, and forced to start over with the injured military dog “Six” that saved his life. Kujo accepts a job with Brotherhood Protectors in the Crazy Mountains of Montana, hoping to find new purpose and come to terms with his losses.

Following a lead that an ISIS faction is near Eagle Rock, Montana, training to launch terrorist attacks, FBI agent Molly Greenbriar thinks she’s on wild goose chase. She operating a drone, pretending to be a photographer for a GPS mapping company, when she’s attacked in the mountains and left for dead. Discovered by former military service dog Six and his owner, Molly is taken to the owner’s cabin where he administers first aid.

Now targeted by the faction, Molly is in danger. Kujo informs his new boss of the situation and is assigned as Molly’s protector until the team can neutralize the source of the threat. Determined to complete her mission, Molly accepts Kujo and Six’s protection and discovers an electric connection to the cantankerous former soldier. Together they struggle to locate the faction while fighting their burgeoning desire.

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I love the Brotherhood Protectors, former military they grab my heart. This book takes that love a step further and adds a military working dog. Oh my heartstrings!

Joe ‘Kujo’ Kuntz has hidden himself away from the world, when he was medically discharged he lost his career, his friends and his dog. He’s about to start a new project when Bear and Duke show up with the news that his dog Six was up for adoption but has issues that caused him to be returned a couple of times. They also offered him a job with Brotherhood Protectors. Not that Joe was having any of it, well until he thought about it.

This is a favorite scene.

Kujo had only been in Montana for two days. After Bear and Duke’s visit to him in Colorado, he’d driven to San Antonio, where he’d spent a week filling out paperwork and convincing the trainers at Lackland he was fit to adopt Six, and that the dog and he were still a good match.

When he’d arrived at the kennels where the dogs were kept, he’d been hard pressed to keep his shit together. Since leaving the Army, he’d had nothing to do with dogs or the people who trained them. Nor had he been around men in uniform.

The range of feelings washing over him had kept him glued to the seat of his truck. He’d taken several minutes sitting in his pickup, gathering the courage he needed to face the very things he’d worked so hard to forget—the career he’d trained for, the dogs he’d loved and the only life he’d ever known.

When the sergeant in charge led him back to Six’s kennel, no amount of mental coaching prepared him for the rush of emotion that nearly brought him to his knees.

As they approached, Six sat at the back of the kennel, his tail curled beneath him, his shoulders slumped and the light completely drained from his eyes.

“He’s been like this since the people at his last foster home returned him,” the sergeant said. “Nobody can reach him. He’s non-responsive and completely shut down.” The man pointed to the full bowl at the corner of the cage. “He hasn’t eaten anything in three days.”

Kujo had to swallow hard several times before he could voice a command. When he finally could squeeze air past his vocal cords, all he could manage was, “Six, come.”

The dog’s ears twitched, and his nose lifted slightly as if sniffing the air. Kujo waited, afraid to say anything for fear of revealing just how devastated he was by the appearance of the dog that had saved his life.

For a long moment, the dog sat, sniffing the air. Then he rose up onto all fours, his tail drooping, and took a step forward.

Kujo opened the gate, stepped inside and pulled out of his pocket the old tennis ball he’d kept with his gear all those years. He squatted on his haunches and repeated, “Six, come.”

Six sniffed the air, his ears now standing straight, his body tense. One step at a time, he eased toward Kujo, limping slightly.

“He took a hit from shrapnel on his last deployment,” the sergeant offered.

Kujo barely heard the man. His attention remained on the dog, his gaze meeting Six’s, silently urging him to close the distance between them.

When at last he did, Six sniffed at the ball, took it from Kujo’s hand, and then he collapsed against him, whining, wiggling and cuddling until the weight of his body pushed Kujo over, forcing him to sit on the concrete.

Since then, Six had stuck to him like flypaper, refusing to leave his side.

From San Antonio, he’d driven all through the night, stopping only to put gas in his truck and to let Six out to stretch and do his business. Normally, he would have kept Six in a crate, like he had when he’d been in training or transporting him. But he figured they were both retired. To hell with the crate.

Six lay on the seat behind Kujo and occasionally stuck his nose over Kujo’s shoulder and licked his face.

The dog had picked up bad habits over the years he’d been away from Kujo, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered mattered was that he and Six were a team once again.

When he arrived in Eagle Rock, Montana in the foothills of the Crazy Mountains, Kujo had driven straight up to Hank Patterson’s house, introduced himself and asked if the job offer was still good.

Hank had welcomed him, given him a bed to sleep in for the night and briefed him the next morning about the work they were doing and his expectations of the people he hired to provide protective services.

At the moment, Hank was negotiating negotiating with a client who was coming to Montana in a few weeks and would need someone to work as a bodyguard. As all of his men were currently assigned, that job would be the one he’d assign Kujo. In the meantime, he could either stay with Hank, his wife and baby, or find a place of his own.

Kujo had gone out the next day and found a cabin in the mountains to rent. It wasn’t much more than one room with a bed, small kitchen area and an outhouse. He suspected it was someone’s old hunting cabin. The isolation suited him.
James, Elle. Montana Dog Soldier (Brotherhood Protectors Book 6) (pp. 38-41). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Okay so I was sniffling and hadn’t even made it to root of the story.

FBI agent Molly Greenbriar is using a drone to search for evidence of a terrorist training camp in the Crazy Mountains near Eagle Rock. When she runs into trouble it’s Six who finds her and Joe who gets her to safety.

Assigned to keep her safe, they quickly begin to make connections both for the job and personally.

A fast-paced, action packed, emotional, and sizzling read.

I am already starting the next book in this series, I just might be addicted.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

Coming Soon!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

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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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Amazon Author Page

 

Montana Ranger – Brotherhood Protectors Book 5 by Elle James



Montana Ranger
Brotherhood Protectors Book 5
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


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Winter Blog Blurb

A former Army Ranger’s first civilian assignment is to protect a spunky physical therapist from an unknown threat at a rehab ranch for disabled veterans

Forced into medical retirement, Army Ranger Alex “Taz” Davila takes a job in the wilds of Montana with the Brotherhood Protectors. First assignment: undercover protection of a pretty physical therapist on a veteran’s rehab ranch.

Living her dream job, Hannah Kendricks helps wounded warriors and abused horses at a rehab ranch for veterans. Finally in a position for a little romance, she suffers a set back when strange accidents nearly get her killed.

Her lagging libido gets a kickstart when a sexy new patient starts following her, always there when she turns around. Before long, she realizes he’s the only thing standing between her and whoever is after her.

Accepting his offer to protect her, Hannah encounters a new problem. She’s attracted to the man! Together they struggle to determine who wants to hurt her and why, while fighting the growing attraction they are helpless to resist.

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Winter Blog Review

The last thing Alex ‘Taz’ Davila expected when he got off the plane in Montana was to be sent directly on a mission. However once he arrives, he sees it won’t be a hardship to keep an eye on the lovely therapist, Hannah Kendricks.

With several attempts on her life, that she has been calling unfortunate mishaps; Hannah finally has to agree that there really is danger when it’s apparent that the brakes on her tractor have been tampered with.

She doesn’t know Taz has been sent to figure it all out, and she is of the firm belief she shouldn’t get involved with a patient/client. The ranch she runs specializes in helping former military re-enter society by treating their insecurities with hard work. The clients work with the horses some that have been abused, and also do other chores around the ranch.

This is a favorite scene, the first meeting and a manure fight. It’s a little long but it’s so worth the giggles.

“Who knows?” Hannah smiled, hoping to lighten the subject of dating. “My man might be the next person who walks through that door.”

Arching an eyebrow, Gavin leaned to his left and looked around her, which made Hannah turn, her pulse kicking up a notch.

The doorway remained empty.

She let go of the breath she’d been holding and laughed at herself. “It will happen when it happens. Until then, I have a fence to mend.” She shot a smile back at Gavin and swung around, heading for the exit, and ran into a wall of muscles.

The collision made her let go of the bucket. The plastic hit the ground, the lid popped off and fence staples spilled onto the floor. “Oh, for heaven’s sake.” She bent at the same time a man did and they knocked skulls.

Pain shot through her forehead and she sat back on her bottom. “Oh!”

The man she’d bumped into rocked back on his feet and sat down hard. His eyes glazed, and he swayed more than she did.

Hannah pushed past her own pain and leaned up on her knee, a staple piercing the fabric of her jeans. She didn’t care.

The man in front of her paled. He appeared like he was about to pass out.

“Hey.” She grabbed his arm and held him steady. “Are you all right?”

He nodded and pressed the fingers of both hands to his temples. “I’m fine,” he said, in clipped tones. When he dropped his hands, the haze in his eyes cleared, replaced by a concerned frown. “Did I hurt you?”

She shook her head, the pain receding.

He looked at the mess on the floor. “I’m sorry. I’ll get these.” He scooped up a handful of staples and deposited them into the plastic bucket.

Hannah came up on her haunches and helped collect the nails. In a couple of minutes, they’d secured all of the staples in the tub.

The man rose with the bucket, swayed a bit and then steadied.

Hannah straightened and held out her hand. “I’ll take those.”

He surrendered the container. “Please, accept my apologies.”

“No, it was my fault.” She twisted her lips into a crooked smile. “I should watch where I’m going. Can I help you?”

“I’m looking for a Hannah Kendricks.” He stared into her face. “I don’t suppose that would be you?”

Hannah stared up into the deepest, darkest eyes she’d ever seen. The man towered over her, his shoulders impossibly broad and his face ruggedly handsome. What had he asked? Oh, yeah. “I’m Hannah. And you are?”

The man held out his hand. “Alex Davila. My therapist told me I might see if you had room for one more patient here at the Brighter Days Rehab Ranch.”

Hannah’s heartbeat sped as she took the proffered hand. “Man or beast?” Holy smokes she couldn’t help staring at the beast in front of her and all of his sexy maleness.

His lips quirked upward. “Man.” He touched his chest. “Although, I’ve been called a beast by some of my friends. The patient would be me.”

The wind sucked out of her chest, Hannah felt as if her lungs had deflated to completely empty of all oxygen.

“You?” She ran her gaze over him from the top of his cowboy hat to his sexy new cowboy boots. “Actually, we do have room at the ranch.”

“Oh, good. When they turned me loose at Walter Reed, I wasn’t sure where I’d go next. I was getting close to pre-injury normal, but I didn’t want to backslide.” He gave her a smile. “Would you consider taking me on? I hear you have a good program here.”

“You have?” The fact that he would be one of the ranch’s clients made her feel both disappointed and relieved all at once.

As a client, he would be strictly off limits to her personally. Hannah had an ironclad rule for herself. Don’t get involved with the patients. Er…clients.

They needed to learn to function on their own. Falling for their therapist would only delay their re-entry into society. Shaking off the need to lick the man from head to toe, Hannah swallowed hard and took his hand. “Alex, you say?”

He nodded. “My friends call me Taz.”

“It wouldn’t happen to be short for Tasmanian Devil, would it?”

He grinned.

The action lit a fire at Hannah’s core.

“Guilty,” Taz said.

“Let me guess,” she said, her words tripping on her suddenly heavy tongue. “You’re the kind of person who spins into a situation, stirs it up and spins back out before anyone realizes what hit them?” Like he had her heart and her head spinning right then.

He shrugged. “Something like that.”

“What would you like us to call you? Alex, Davila or Taz?”

“Taz will do.” He stared down at her hand in his. “Do you mind if I have that back?”

Heat rushed up into her cheeks as she realized she’d been holding the client’s hand all the time they’d been discussing his name. Hannah yanked her hand out of his, suddenly missing the warmth and strength. Which was ridiculous. She didn’t need either. But knowing that didn’t stop her from wanting them…

Hannah squared her shoulders, determined to be professional amid her totally unprofessional thoughts. “Gavin will show you to the bunkhouse and get you settled in. But before you decide to stay, you should know, everyone who comes here is expected to pull his or her own weight in one form or another. Disabilities aren’t an excuse to get out of working. The animals we rescue count on us to make their lives better.”

Taz’s brows dipped. “I thought this was a rehab ranch for veterans.”

“And horses. We also rescue abused and mistreated horses. The veterans who come to us learn that they’re not the only living creatures with seemingly insurmountable problems. Our charges help each other heal.” She tipped her head in challenge. “Are you willing to do your share?”

He nodded. “I am.”

“Have you ever been around horses?” she asked.

Taz’s lips twitched. “A little.”

Hannah suspected he wasn’t telling the whole truth. However, she had work to do, and standing around drooling over a client wasn’t getting it done. “As I said, Gavin will show you to your quarters.” She left the tack room as quickly as she could without appearing bitchy or off-putting. Being near Taz was making her insides burn and her thoughts scramble.

“Hey! What the hell!” a voice shouted.

Hannah recognized it as Franklin’s.

“You got it on me first, you damned grunt,” Vasquez responded.

A snort sounded from the other side of a stall and something sailed into the air, landing with a plop on the ground at Hannah’s feet.

“Rather be a grunt than a jarhead,” Franklin shouted.

“Yeah, at least the shit is on the outside of my boots, not on the inside,” Vasquez said.

Two more clumps of straw-studded horse manure sailed out of the stall, landing on the ground near Hannah.

“What’s going on in there?” she shouted, anger building as yet another clump of manure flew out of the stall.

“He started it,” Franklin said, and grunted.

Hannah ran toward the stall, afraid the two young men would hurt each other with the hay rakes.

When she reached the stall gate, she stopped, her lips twitching, laughter bubbling up inside. Franklin and Vasquez were in a war of the rakes, balancing the two tools beneath their good arms, using their bodies to apply leverage. The rake tines were locked, and they were at a standoff.

Then Franklin backed off, dug his tines into the straw and manure and slung shit at Vasquez.

Vasquez ducked, and the horse manure hit Hannah in the chest. She let out a sharp breath and backed up a step.

The two fighters froze, their eyes rounding.

“Miss Kendricks, I’m so sorry.” Franklin ran toward her, still carrying his rake.

“It’s okay,” Hannah said, choking on her sudden need to giggle. She tried not to let it out. The situation was serious, but the guys covered in crap looked hysterically funny. She couldn’t hold back and let loose a bark of laughter.

“Attention!” a commanding voice said behind her. “Drop your tools.”

Both men quickly dropped their rakes and stood straight.

“It’s okay.” Hannah stopped laughing long enough to take a deep breath. When she did, she smelled the manure on her shirt and made a belated attempt to brush it off. Then, to make certain Franklin didn’t devolve into another brawl later, she schooled her face into a stern mask and faced them. “You do realize you’re cleaning up the mess you made?”

The two spoke as one, “Yes, ma’am!”

She tilted her chin a little higher. “And what did you learn today while slinging manure all over the barn?”

Their brows descended. “Ma’am?” Franklin questioned.

“Not to sling shit because it’s wrong?” Vasquez guessed.

“That, too.” Hannah let her lips curl into a smile as she gestured toward the vets. “More importantly, you learned you could manage a rake with one hand. And you did well enough to sling a considerable amount of manure all over the place. Now that you know you can do that, you can put your backs into cleaning up.”

“Yes, ma’am!” Franklin and Vasquez said as one. But they didn’t move. Their gazes shifted to the man who’d commanded them to attention.

“Get to it,” Taz said, his voice deep, strong and brooking no argument.

Franklin and Vasquez scrambled for the rakes. Each grabbed a handle on the wheelbarrow. Together they rolled it toward the middle of the barn and started shoveling manure.
James, Elle. Montana Ranger (Brotherhood Protectors Book 5) (pp. 39-45). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Right from the start you get a glimpse of the camaraderie that exists between everyone at the ranch in spite of what branch they served in. All of them equally dedicated to keeping Hannah safe.

From a rejected puppy, to someone taking pot shots, this book will grab you and not let you go.

Some major twists and turns, with a romance that will have you sighing.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Winter Blog More Books

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

Coming Soon!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

Winter Blog About Author

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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