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Wicked Bachelors: Brix – The Wicked Winemaker’s Ball Book 1 by Heather Slade


Wicked Bachelor: Brix
The Wicked Winemaker’s Ball Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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A smooth billionaire winemaker.
A compassionate bidder with a loving heart.
With just one sip, it all gets a little WICKED.

BRIX

As head winemaker of the Los Caballeros winery, I like to keep it cool, collected, and smooth. Knowing my weakness, my sister sends in a secret weapon—Addison Reagan—to convince me to be in the bachelor auction. There’s no way I can turn her down.

After all, she’s everything I’ve been missing. With her unassuming and kind nature, I am bowing down to her every need, and measuring every moment.

ADDISON

I have one mission: get Brix into the bachelor auction. Easier said than done. Brix is stubborn and distant. I’m beyond shocked when he agrees. Of course there’s a catch. There always is with a man like him. I have to be the winning bidder. Not a problem. After all, he’s sexy, charming, and irresistible. He sets me on fire.

With Brix, things are about to heat up. And just when it does, my demons come barreling back. But can I count on a WICKED WINEMAKER to save me from the past?

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Brix finds himself often driving to Stave when he knows Addison will be working. He hasn’t asked her out but does find himself spending as much time as he can around her. Including having breakfast at her mother and stepfather’s diner, where she waitressed in the mornings.

Addison has a bit of a crush on Brix but she doesn’t delude herself that the head winemaker and owner of Los Caballeros Vineyards would be interested in her. She lives in an apartment over the garage at her mother and stepfather’s house and works two jobs to make ends meet. Not exactly a catch.

Things are about to change though as she rushes to the hospital to be with her mother. She has no idea of the extent of the abuse her mother has been going through, it’s far more than the arguments she’s heard. What she find shocks her and has her feeling guilty for not knowing, although her mother still insists she just fell down the stairs. The fact that this is not the first visit to the ER has Addison more than a little concerned.

She’s more than a little surprised to find Brix parked by the house when she returns with her mother. Her co-worker Samantha drove her to the hospital and then helped get her mother home. Brix upon hearing Addison would be opening the diner by herself, steps up to say he’d see her there when she opened.

In the meantime Brix has his friend Press dig into Peg’s husband, Dennis, what he finds isn’t good and raises even more concerns over Addison and Peg’s safety.

Many people showed up to help with the diner including Brix’s mother and later his sister Alex, Addison’s other boss. Alex had another agenda though and wants Addison to ask Brix to be in the Bachelor Auction.

This is a favorite scene.

While I’d never call her out on it more directly than I had, the bullshit Alex was spewing about how Brix and I were perfect for each other pissed me off. Did she really think I was that much of an idiot that I’d buy into what she was trying to manipulate me into doing? There was no way in hell I’d ask Brix to be in the auction. Given how many times he’d turned his own sister down, it was obvious it wasn’t something he wanted to do.

“Addison? Are you okay?” When Brix walked into the cooler, I pretended to be counting the sheets of pastries we had left to bake tomorrow. It was something I had to do anyway; I just hadn’t thought of it until that moment.

“I’m good. How are you? You must be exhausted. You can take off, you know. I mean, we’re closed.” I vomited all those words and managed not to look at him. Bravo, Addy.

“Hey.” He stepped closer. Too close. “What was that between you and Alex?”

“Nothing.”

“Had to have been something for you to hide out in a giant freezer.”

“I’m not hiding out. I’m doing inventory.”

“Yeah? You could’ve counted everything in here ten times by now. Come on, you’re freezing.”

Brix took my hand, and it felt so warm. Hot actually. Scorchingly hot. The heat spread throughout my body. He didn’t let go, even after we were outside, at what was becoming our meeting place.

“Tell me what Alex said to you.”

I tried to pull my hand away, but he wouldn’t let go. In fact, he grabbed the other one and stepped so close our bodies were almost touching.

“Tell me what Alex did to upset you.”

“She didn’t upset me.”

“Yes, she did. Now tell me why.”

“It isn’t worth talking about. She asked me to do something, and I said I couldn’t.”

“Something to do with me.”

He didn’t say it as a question, so I didn’t feel the need to respond.

“What?”

I tried again to shake my hands free, but he held tight.

“There are a whole lot of people inside, waiting to talk to both of us, but I have no intention of letting you go until you tell me what Alex asked you to do.”

“It isn’t that big of a deal,” I said, this time jerking my hands from his. “She wanted me to ask you to be in the Wicked Winemakers’ Bachelor Auction, and I told her I wouldn’t.”

He smirked. “Why not?”

My eyes opened wide, and I put my hands on my hips. “Are you serious right now? Why not? Because she’s asked you a million times, and you’ve always refused. She was trying to manipulate me into asking, and I didn’t want any part of it.”

I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw more people walking into the diner; they’d obviously heard my outburst.

“Great.” I shook my head and looked at the ground. “Now everyone will think I’m a crazy person.”

“Yes.”

“Right! Batshit crazy.”

“No. I mean, yes, I’ll be in the auction. However, I have a few stipulations.”

I stared at him, mouth hanging open. I snapped it closed and spun around so my back was to him. “You know who really is batshit crazy? You and Alex. You two can sort this crap out on your own.”

I was headed inside when I heard him speak again.

“One stipulation involves you, Addison.”

I wanted to pull my hair out, crawl into a hole, and never come out. “No. Whatever it is, the answer is no.”

“We’ll talk about it later,” he said as he joined me at the door. “Come on, let’s go.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me with him.

“You’re infuriating,” I mumbled.

What did he do? He laughed.
Heather Slade. Wicked Bachelors:: Brix (Kindle Locations 733-767). The Wicked Winemakers’ Ball Book One. Kindle Edition.

All this occurs before someone burns down the diner and a large insurance policy on Peg’s life comes to light.

Things take quite a twist when Brix gets the Los Caballeros involved and his relationship with Addison heats up as well.

I love the way everything comes together especially with all the twists and turns.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Coming Soon!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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Code Name: Wasp – K19 Shadow Operations Book 3 by Heather Slade


Code Name Wasp
K19 Shadow Operations Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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Code name: Jasper “Wasp” Theron first met Swan at
Target: Swan Lee
Mission: Prove once and for all that swans mate for life.

WASP

As an Air Force fighter pilot, I’m the best in the business. No fear. No hesitation. Attacking when you least expect it. That’s why I can’t sit by when the woman I crave, the woman who challenges me, wants to go undercover against a serial killer. No chance.

SWAN

It’s the only option, the only plan that’ll work. Infiltrate the enemy and take them down once and for all. I’m an RAF fighter pilot and M16 agent, sitting still is not who I am. But WASP has other plans. Plans to protect me, keep me safe. When I do what I want, it’s WASP who feels the sting.

Jasper ‘Wasp’ Theron first met Swan at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, she beat him in an exercise and his team is still ribbing him. Now Wasp was just a Lieutenant at the time and as such he found he was paying for all the drinks in his room dubbed hospitality suite. Dinners with the squadron were also required and the bill was split equally among everyone regardless of what they ate, there were also nights of credit card roulette where Wasp had lost the night before, this TDY was very expensive for him. After a joint debrief his commander Lt. Col. ‘Barko’ McAdams invites Swan to join them for their squadron dinner. He clearly wants to get to know Swan better. Swan wants nothing to do with him and instead sticks close to Wasp. This doesn’t go over well.

This is a favorite scene.

“Ready to head out?” I heard my commander ask. Before I could answer, Swan did.

“I appreciate the invitation. Won’t I be intruding on your boys’ night?”

“We’ve had several of those in a row, right Lt.?”

“Fifteen at my count, sir.”

Lt. Col. McAdams, call sign Barko, squeezed my shoulder. “Wasp here picked up the tab for last night’s dinner,” he said to Swan.

“Ouch. Credit card roulette?”

“I’m thinking we go that route again tonight.”

I wanted to cringe, but refrained from any visible reaction. What were the odds my card would be picked two nights in a row?

“Swan and I will ride with you tonight,” the colonel said when we exited the building where three SUVs sat at the ready.

“Copy that,” I muttered, opening the rear passenger door for them.

“I’ll sit up front if no one minds,” said Swan, walking around the back of the vehicle before the colonel or I had a chance to respond. Again, not that I would’ve, even though, truth be told, I’d rather have Attila the Hun in the car, beside me.

In the rearview mirror, I could see Barko fuming—alone—in the backseat. Clearly, not his plan.

At dinner, Swan orchestrated the same stunt, taking the seat to my right after Barko pulled out a chair for her next to him on the opposite side of the table. If I wouldn’t have looked like a complete asshole, I would’ve moved. As it was, I was stuck.

I would’ve thought it was my imagination when Swan seemed to work me into every conversation Barko started with her, but based on how pissed he looked, I knew she was doing it intentionally. What I didn’t know was why. Particularly since the more she did it, the angrier he got. So angry, in fact, that when it came time for credit card roulette, I watched him shuffle through the cards until he found mine. I just prayed I wasn’t nearing my limit, given how much I’d had to put on it in the last couple of weeks.

“What’s wrong, Lt.?” a fairly drunk Barko asked, probably because I looked as if I might be sick to my stomach. Before I could respond, Swan reached over and grabbed two of the credit cards—one of which was mine.

After handing it to me, she pushed back her chair and left the table. Barko stormed off behind her.

What the hell had just happened? I sat in my seat, stunned, until I heard my commander’s raised voice and Swan’s in response.

I found them in the hallway near the restrooms, where it looked like Barko had her pinned against the wall.

“What the fuck?” he yelled when I wrenched him away from her. By then, two other pilots had run over and got between Barko and me.

“Go!” I shouted at Swan. “Get one of the other guys to give you a ride back.”

“Wasp, I can—”

“Go!”

“I have a better idea, Theron” said Major Bjorn, our squadron’s operations director. “You give her a ride back. Once I have things under control, you and I will have a chat.”

“Yes, sir.” I started to walk away and realized no one had come to take my credit card to pay for dinner. “Um, the tab, sir…”

“It’s covered, Lt.” He motioned with his head to Barko. “He’ll be footing tonight’s bill.”

“Yes, sir,” I repeated. When I walked out, Swan followed. As we passed them, every person who’d been with us at dinner tonight looked mortified. Rightly so. Two full ranks and a lot of years separated Barko and me, and I’d just crossed a line there’d be no coming back from.

Would there be hell to pay? Damn straight, there would be, and “hell” didn’t begin to describe it. However, the look on Swan’s face when I found them in the hallway told me she wasn’t just avoiding my CO; she was afraid of him. The events of the last few hours suddenly made sense. Swan had intentionally made me the buffer between her and a man whose attention she didn’t want. A man who was pursuing her relentlessly. Not to mention, a married man.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” she said once we were in the SUV. “Do you have any idea the kind of trouble you’re in?”

I took a deep breath and turned in her direction. “I was in trouble whether or not I pulled Barko off you in that hallway.”

“This could ruin your career, Wasp.”

“If I had to do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing. While this may ruin my career, as you said, after seeing the look on your face”—I shook my head—“I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself, wouldn’t have even been able look at myself in the mirror, if I hadn’t intervened.”

“Thank you, and I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to be sorry for. I should’ve realized what was happening and done a better job of neutralizing the situation.”
Heather Slade. Code Name: Wasp (Kindle Locations 137-178). K19 Shadow Operations Book Two. Kindle Edition.

Swan and Wasp meet up only one more time before they’re tapped for a special mission years later. One that almost gets derailed. All this before they join with K19.

I loved getting all the background on these two, their relationship is flirty and fun but not completely smooth sailing. We also get a glimpse of Wasp’s family.

When we return to the present case things take some unexpected twists. I couldn’t stop reading until the end.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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Amazon Author Page

Ripped – The Invinsibles Book 12 by Heather Slade


Ripped
The Invincibles Book 12
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Author

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He’s an Invincibles contractor on the fast track to partner.
She’s a cult captive looking for answers.
Together, they’re INVINCIBLE.

RIP

I ’m on my way up—up the Invincibles ladder, ready and willing to be named partner. But first, I need to take down the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, a brainwashed cult that will stop at nothing to get ahead, even hurt their own kin. And that doesn’t sit well with me. When I meet her, the daughter of the brotherhood, I know something is wrong, and dangerous. She’s in trouble and has nobody to turn to—until now.

PEARL

Conflicting feelings. Emotions that have me reeling. My father is dead. The grief is real, but the relief is paramount. I’m free. I’ve escaped the clutches of him and his vile men. With nowhere to go, I have to trust the Invincibles, especially the one who’s trying to help me. But something tells me, if I get too close, he’ll RIP my heart out.

Vex and Scottie (McKenna Walsh) have been working undercover in Aryan Brother of Texas (ABT) compound. They heard some chatter that the woman they took under their wing, Pearl Fischer, was in danger. In order to prevent anything happening to her, Vex and Scottie manage to get her out of the compound on the pretext of a meeting of the Aryan Nation in Idaho.

Since Vex and Scottie had more to do, they call in Rip to take Pearl to a safe house. Instead Rip takes her to his home on Hammer’s ranch. He felt it would offer the best security for her. There was only one little problem, and that was her ‘father’ John Fischer had kidnapped Hammer’s wife, Maeve. Rip hoped that wouldn’t be an issue.

His goal is to keep Pearl safe from the Aryan’s and figure out why they want her.

Pearl had always lived on the compound, she has no recollection of her mother, only her father. She shared a cabin with her father so she wasn’t with the rest of the single women on the compound in a barracks. Vex and Scottie had taken her in after her father died so she still was with the others. She wasn’t treated well by the other women even though she worked with them. They all had jobs to do. Only Ms. Opal treated her well and taught her to cook.

Rip first researches information on ‘cult survivors’ so he can help Pearl transition to the real world. She has no identification at all since that was all controlled by the men of the ABT. He is slowly introducing Pearl to the freedom she now has. Taking her riding and fishing, while also letting her feel useful by cooking and some cleaning.

A favorite scene is when they go fishing and after.

I couldn’t help but breathe in the scent of her. It was fresh and pure, like a meadow in springtime, when the sun has been shining down on it. I stepped around her and held the fish up once she’d reeled it in far enough. “You got a big one too! Look at that.”

“What do we do with it now?”

“This here is catch-and-release fishing,” I said as I removed the lure and tossed the largemouth bass back in the water.

“What’s the point if you just let them go?”

“It’s relaxing.”

She raised both eyebrows and cast her line again. After an hour, Pearl had caught and released six to my zero.

“Are you sure we can’t keep any?” she asked when she caught number seven, which looked bigger than the others.

I shook my head. “Why do you want to?”

“Fishing made me hungry.”

I chuckled. “Me too.”

“I don’t think I like fish, though.”

“No? I love a good fried catfish.”

“I’ve never had it.”

“Catfish or any fish?” I asked.

“Any fish.”

“Then, I know just the place for us to get some.” It would take some finagling on my part, but I thought I could make it work.

We were about fifteen minutes from the ranch when I pulled over and placed a call.

“Hey, Rebel,” I said when the woman who helped out behind the bar and in the kitchen at the Long Branch when needed answered. With both Maeve and Hammer taking some time off before the baby was born, my guess was Rebel and her husband, Edge, who was one of the Invincibles partners, were there pretty much every day.

“Hey, Rip. What can I do for you, sugar?”

“You don’t happen to have two orders of catfish you could package up for me as take out do you?”

“Sure do. You want coleslaw and potato salad with those?”

I looked at Pearl, who could easily hear everything Rebel had said. She nodded her head enthusiastically.

“That’ll be perfect.”

“Give me about fifteen minutes, and I’ll have ’em ready.”

“I’ll swing by the family entrance and grab them.”

I ended the call and was about to put the SUV in gear when I noticed a group of motorcycles headed our way. Rather than pull out, I waited a couple of minutes to give them time to pass. I wasn’t worried about any of them seeing into my vehicle since the windows were tinted pretty dark, but I wanted to get a good look at them, as much as I could see by the light of the moon anyway.

“Let me know if you recognize any of these bikes,” I said when they were almost to us. “Or anyone riding them.”

“All of them,” she said as they drove by in groups.

“ABT?”

“Yes.”

Rather than follow, I spun the SUV around and went in the opposite direction. Once I turned off the main road, I called Rebel back. “ABT headed your way,” I said when she answered. “You want me to call the sheriff?”

“A couple of them passed Tres on his way in, so he’s way ahead of you, Rip, but thanks for the heads-up.”

“I’m gonna have to take a pass on the catfish, darlin’. I’m really sorry about that.”

“Hammer is headed out with a couple of T-bones. You want me to have him bring your dinners to the ranch with him?”

“If he wouldn’t mind.”

Rebel laughed and ended the call.

I looked over at Pearl, who was wide-eyed and white as a sheet.

“It’s okay. You’re safe with me. You know that right?”

“They’re out looking for me. I can feel it.”

“Well, they aren’t going to find you.” Seconds later, we pulled through the gates of the Hammered Dubliner— a place we wouldn’t be leaving again anytime soon.

Rather than going to my house, I pulled up in front of Hammer’s and called to say I was here, waiting.

“You heard we had company at the Branch,” he said.

“Saw them myself.”

“We’ll talk more when I get there. Go on inside. I’ll let Maeve know you and Pearl will be having dinner with us. We might need to rethink the plan.”

“This is all my fault,” said Pearl. “He doesn’t want me here anymore.”

“I don’t know what you think is your fault, and unless you’re some kind of mind reader, you don’t know what Hammer is thinking either. We need to head inside in just a minute, but first, there’s something I want to talk to you about.”

I knew she didn’t want to go in. I also knew she would anyway. Either way, I was about to reveal to her exactly who I was. I had to, because even though I couldn’t read minds either, I still knew Hammer was going to suggest we relocate.

She turned her body so she was facing me. “Go ahead.”

“Before this goes any further, I need you to know I’m not exactly who you think I am.”

She folded her arms. “Who are you?”

“My name is Rip, or Zane, like I told you. I just never was a part of the Nazi Freedom Riders.

Pearl smiled.

“What?”

“I knew that inside of five minutes of meeting you.”

I smiled too. “Yeah? How? Do I look too soft to have been one of them?”

“You’re too nice.” I could see the wheels turning in her head. “Mr. Robinson and Ms. Shay aren’t who they said they were either.”

“That’s right.”

“I think deep down I knew that too. Why are you telling me now?”

“So it’s easier for Hammer and me to talk freely about our next course of action.”

“What about Maeve?”

“You might not believe this, but… Maeve’s brother is actually the head of the CIA.

Again, her eyes opened wide. “She’s Irish.”

“He isn’t. He’s actually her half brother.”

“Is that who you work for?”

“Indirectly. I work for a company called the Invincibles.”

“Your woman said that name.”

I raised a brow. “She’s not my woman.”

“She wants to be.”

“You saw her for thirty seconds. What makes you say something like that?”

She turned her head away so I couldn’t see her face. “Any woman would want to be.”

“Pearl—” Before I could say another word, she got out of the SUV. I did too and headed her off before she got up the steps to the front door. “Don’t run away from me,” I said when she tried to skirt past me.

I put my hands on her arms. “Pearl?”

“What?”

“Look at me.”

She sure as hell didn’t want to, but eventually, she did anyway.

“Any man would want you to be his too.”

“You’re just saying that because I said it first.”

“Am I? Are you reading my mind now too?”

“You don’t mean it.”

“You’re wrong.” Before I could do something stupid, like show her exactly how wrong she was, Hammer’s vehicle pulled up next to mine. “You head on inside, and I’ll help him bring the food in.”

She took off as soon as I released her.

“Hey, Pearl?”

She looked over her shoulder at me.

“We’re going to finish this conversation later.”
Heather Slade. Ripped (Kindle Locations 854-918). The Invincibles Book Ten.

Knowing the ABT is searching for her leads to them traveling to an even more secure location. Buck’s ranch, The Roaring Fork in Colorado.

I really liked that Pearl took the first step towards furthering the relationship with Rip and I respected him a lot for turning her down. Not because he doesn’t want her, but he wants answers to her situation and for her to heal more first.

Plenty of ups and downs in this one and more than one surprise.

I really can’t wait for the new series with Rip at the head.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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Amazon Author Page

Code Name: Diesel – K19 Shadow Operations Book 2 by Heather Slade


Code Name: Diesel
K19 Shadow Operations Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Code name: Caleb “Diesel” Jacks
Target: Bryar Davies
Mission: Use intelligence to ignite the fire
of the sexiest FBI agent I’ve ever met.

DIESEL
As a Cornell grad and former CIA operative, I’ve got the wits and thirst for danger to go deep into the shadows. Seeing my fair share of death and destruction, I never flinch when my life is on the line. But when I meet her, I know she’s the only one who can truly destroy me.

BRYAR
This damn serial killer investigation is going to be the death of me—literally. And now, Diesel won’t let up, protecting me like I’m some damsel in distress. He knows I’m far from it. My FBI badge and education matches him wit for wit and danger for danger. But let’s be completely honest, Diesel has all the right fuel to ignite my fire. I just hope this doesn’t all go up in flames.

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If you are reading this series, I’m sure you noticed Diesel’s reaction when he heard of the ambush on the prisoner escort in the first book. Especially when it comes to FBI agent Bryar Davies.

He knows exactly how long she was in surgery. When she calls him to tell him she’s being released, he rushes to the hospital regardless that her boss Ryan Fitzsimmons want him at headquarters. He works for Onyx not the FBI.

We do have another kidnapping to worry about in this search for the serial killer. Patricia Fasano the psychologist who was working with Maisie. Even before that takes off into full swing, she’s found and brought to the ER at the same hospital where Bryer is still a patient.

Diesel is going to question her if she’s able, but first he goes to Bryar. It seems Pershing ‘Admiral’ Kane, her boss over Ryan was on his way here, presumably to escort her back to DC. Diesel has another idea though, one that gets a bit of twist when he discovers Bryar thinks he slept with Patricia Fasano. Something that never happened.

Things are about to get a whole lot worse for Bryar, beginning with an attempt on her life.

This is a favorite scene.

Someone groaning startled me awake. I opened my eyes and realized it was Diesel, who was clearly in the midst of a nightmare. I knew the signs well enough from experiencing my own.

When I said his name and he didn’t wake up, I leaned over as far as I could and put my hand on his arm.

His eyes sprung open, and he looked around. “Fuck, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay.” My words came out as a whisper, and even that took energy I didn’t feel I had. “What happened?”

“Nightmare. Sorry.”

I shook my head. “With me.” I feel like he’d already told me, but I couldn’t remember.

“Cardiac arrest… resuscitated… stable.” He said more, but those were the only words that registered.

I nodded my head and closed my eyes. The bizarre dreams I’d had made more sense now. Maybe what I thought were nightmares were bits and pieces of what had actually happened. I didn’t see a white light or anything like that. Instead, I just remembered feeling horribly alone.

“Hey,” Diesel said, brushing the tears away that had rolled down my cheeks. “You’re okay now. You’re on the road to recovery, and soon, you’ll be out of here.”

I knew he was only trying to make me feel better, but it wasn’t working.

So I’d recover, then what? I’d still be just as alone as I felt earlier. The sole thing in my life was work. In fact, before I’d been assigned to this case, when I was off, the only people I interacted with were strangers I saw at the market or the restaurants where I’d get takeout. I could go an entire weekend without seeing or hearing from another person.

It hadn’t been much different in college. Unlike Diesel and Agent Kane, I hadn’t become friends with my roommates. They were just people who lived in the same dorm I did.

I’d had friends in high school, but no one I’d kept in touch with after we graduated.

What kind of life was I living? A horribly lonely one. As much as I hated it, I had no idea how to make it any different. I’d never been outgoing.

“Bryar, look at me.”

I shook my head when I felt his fingers touch my face.

“Don’t,” I managed to whisper. If it didn’t take so much damn energy to talk, I’d tell him to leave. Why was he here anyway? I knew why. Because I had no one else.

I tried rolling to my side so my back was to him but must’ve disconnected a wire since machines started beeping. A few seconds later, the door flew open, and three people rushed in.

“You’ll need to wait outside, sir,” I heard one of them tell Diesel. Maybe I’d get my wish, and he’d leave. The thought made me cry even harder.

“Ms. Davies, you need to settle down.”

I nodded and took as deep a breath as I could without it hurting.

“She disconnected the EKG.” I heard a disapproving voice announce.

“Be more careful. We still need to monitor your condition,” the first voice scolded after the others left.

I wanted to tell her to shut up. Why did nurses have to be so fucking mean?

“Ms. Davies needs to rest. You can come back in the morning,” I heard the same woman say.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“I can call security.”

“And I’ll call your boss.”

She huffed and walked out.

“I don’t think she’ll do it, do you?”

I shrugged and smiled. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“She’s right. You don’t have to stay,” I whispered.

“I’m not leaving you here alone with Nurse Hatchet.”

I smiled again. “Ratched.”

“Nurse Ratched Hatchet.”

“Don’t make me laugh.”

“I’m sure crying hurts just as bad.”

It did, but not in the way he meant.

He held my hand in his, stroking it with his thumb. “Get some sleep.”
Heather Slade. Code Name: Diesel (Kindle Locations 671-704). K19 Shadow Operations Book Two.

Now you’d think that would be enough, but dang it gets worse.

Aside from finding a leak in the FBI, the serial killer and kidnapper, there’s now the plot to frame Bryar.

There’s plenty of action, suspense, romance, and just a touch of sizzle as this next chapter of this new arm of K19 continues. I can’t wait to read the next one!!!

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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Amazon Author Page

Hammered – The Invincibles Book 9 by Heather Slade


Hammered
The Invincibles Book 9
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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He’s a ruthless attorney.
She’s a determined bar owner.
Together, they’re INVINCIBLE.

HAMMER

Bottom line, I put the hammer down. That’s the truth and nothing but the truth. But when the CIA director calls in a favor, I’m forced to comply. Keeping an eye on his feisty, reckless sister goes way beyond my retainer. The relentless bar owner doesn’t know when to throw in the towel, which is why I can’t get enough of her.

MAEVE

On my own, doing it my way, that’s all I want. Maybe the bar wasn’t the greatest idea. Punks are stealing from me, quitting on the spot, and worst of all, I’m breaking up bar brawls nightly. Now, I’ve got a rabid lawyer breathing down my neck. Granted, he’s hot as Fireball on a Friday. But I have a job to do; the last thing I need is to get HAMMERED.

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Sterling “Hammer’ Anderson has just landed in Texas after attending Saint and Harper’s wedding in London. He was a bit surprised to see a text from Kellen “Money” McTiernan since they had been on the same flight to DC. Apparently, something urgent has come up and even though he really wanted sleep he made the call.

Money’s half-sister Maeve is in trouble and needs a lawyer in a hurry. She’s a lot younger than Money, is beautiful, smart and wealthy to boot. All things that can complicate things for her.

When Hammer calls Mac MacIver, the sheriff, he finds the charge to be attempted murder, but Maeve also has bench warrants and other things outstanding. Not helping is the victim is the sheriff’s brother, Bobby. All of this stems from Maeve making an offer to buy the bar. Now why she wants a bar in Texas is anyone’s guess and Money has tried to discourage the purchase. Money also told him she has an aversion to the words no and don’t. If you use them with her, she will do the opposite every time.

Hammer manages to get Maeve out of jail on a writ bond, which means both his money and reputation are on the line if she flees.

His ranch manger, Zane “Rip” Kailor also works for the Invincibles but on a part-time basis, Hammer lets him know about Maeve’s situation since it’s possible to be called away for something else and she can’t be left alone.

There’s also the attraction between them that hovers close in all their scenes together. There’s also a lot more to Maeve buying that bar than meets the eye.

First the attempted murder charge needs to be resolved as does the other older charges against her. The judge while not lenient appears fair, although the community service hours seem a bit much. The judgement that the writ stays in place is something neither of them expected.

This is a favorite scene following that judgement.

She laughed, but not because she thought it was funny. The angry look on her face intensified. “Which part don’t you believe? The part where I’m a princess or that I have a blatant disrespect for the laws of the country I am so privileged to be permitted to reside in. I am a US citizen, and I pay taxes, Hammer. A great amount of them, actually.”

I let go of her arm, but rather than getting up, Maeve sat on her bottom.

“I’m sorry, okay?” she repeated, looking everywhere but at me. “I’m obviously less pleased about this than you are, but I don’t know what’s to be done about it.”

“Maeve?” She turned her head more, so I was looking at the back of it. “Dublin?”

“What?” she snapped.

“I’m not angry with you. I’m not even angry with the judge. If you want to know the truth, I wasn’t ready for you to leave.”

She spun around. “Did you ask him to do this?”

I laughed at the look of horror on her face. “No. I didn’t. But the idea that we’d both be returning to our normal lives already, well… I knew I’d miss you.”

She scoffed.

“It’s true. It isn’t every day a man gets to have such a beautiful woman sleeping in his bed, even if he isn’t sleeping there with her.”

“Hammer, I… I’m not…”

“Look, don’t think I’m trying to pull the same thing Bobby did. For one, I’m too old for you. Two, I’m your attorney. Three, if I were going to try to seduce you, this wouldn’t be how I’d go about it.”

She studied me. “How would you go about it?”

I stared at her a long time before I responded. “I’m your attorney,” I repeated.

“If you weren’t?” her voice was breathy, her tone deeper.

“That would be an entirely different story.”

“You said we needed to talk.”

“Yeah, we do. Let’s go back to the house.” It took a bit of effort, but I was able to stand. Tomorrow, though, I’d be sore as hell.

On our return, I thought through exactly what I wanted to say to Maeve. Should I tell her what I’d overheard when she was behind the closed doors of my bedroom and that it was the reason I’d left earlier? She’d probably be mortified, and that was my reason for not being honest earlier.

We’d just gotten to the house when my cell phone rang. I motioned to the Adirondack chairs and took a seat when she did.

“Hey, Mac. What’s up?”

“Sorry to be calling again, but this is important.”

I almost groaned. What now? “Go on.”

“When we left your place earlier, I realized how serious my brother’s drinking has gotten. That he drove drunk was a wake up call for both of us. I decided it’s time I stepped in.”

“I’m sorry, Mac,” I added.

“Appreciate it, Hammer. Listen, there’s something I want to run by Maeve and you.”

“She’s right here. I can put the phone on speaker unless you want to talk with her privately.” Although, as her attorney, I really shouldn’t have made that offer.

“Speaker’s good, Counselor.” Mac obviously thought the same thing I had.

“Go ahead.”

“Hey, Dublin.” Maeve smiled, and so did I.

“Hey, Mac,” she responded.

“As I just told Hammer, my brother’s behavior of late has made me realize he needs more help than I can give him.”

“If you’re thinking rehab, it’s the best thing for him,” I said.

“Yeah, something like that. Anyway, it means, without him at the helm at the Long Branch, my inclination is to close the place down for a while at least.”

“No!” Maeve gasped. “I mean, sorry, but that will be very detrimental to it as a business.”

“I agree, and that’s the reason for my call. Maeve, if you’re still interested in buying the place, I have a proposal for you.”

“Go ahead,” I said when she nodded.

“It’ll take some time for you to make arrangements to get the liquor license. Hammer, this is where you come in. Until her various charges get dismissed, the liquor board isn’t going to look at the application too favorably.”

“I agree.”

“My proposal is this. The two of you go under contract on the Branch. Once Maeve has completed the terms of her sentencing, she should be able to get a license on her own. After that, it’s a simple ownership transfer.”

Maeve’s eyes opened wide.

“You’ve given this a lot of thought,” I said.

“The last thing my brother needs now is an assault charge. I’ve got a bargain to uphold.”

I wanted to tell him neither Maeve nor I would hold him to it, but it wasn’t my place to without conferring with her first.

“How does going under contract keep it open?” she asked.

“If you’re interested in moving forward with the sale, we can structure the purchase so it doesn’t finalize until the liquor board approves the license. In the meantime, you manage it.”

“Can you give us some time to talk this over?” I asked.

“Of course. But the clock is ticking, Hammer. I’m sure as hell not opening the place up tonight myself.”

“Got it.” I ended the call. There was a lot more to this than Maeve agreeing to Mac’s proposal. I had to as well.

“Taking myself out of the equation, my first question before we discuss some of the other things Mac presented is do you still want to buy the Long Branch?”

“I do.”

“Why?”

“I can’t answer that.”

“I gotta ask. Do you have any idea what goes into running a place that size?”

“You’re assuming I’ve no experience, is that it?”

“If you did, you wouldn’t want a place like the Branch.”

“I suppose you haven’t heard of Mary Donoghue’s, then.”

“Of course I have.” It was one of the most well-known pubs in Ireland, although it was far more than that. It was said a few of the world’s most successful bands got their start at their location in Dublin. I’d also heard they’d expanded throughout the UK. “Did you work at one of them?”

Maeve laughed. “My mother was Mary as was her mother before her and her mother before that, reaching as far back as ten generations.”

“Are you saying your mother was Mary Donoghue?”

“Aye.”

“If they were all named Mary, how come your name is Maeve?”

She shook her head. “As with each of them, Maeve is my middle name.”

“Then, you know it isn’t an easy business.”

“What about you? You’re part of this, at least initially. Have you ever worked in a bar?”

I nodded. “All through college.”

“I know the business, Hammer. Better than most. The Long Branch is already successful. I can make it more so.”

“You also know your brother isn’t in favor of you doing this. With good reason.”

“Does that mean you’re saying no?”

“If I were saying no, that’s what I would’ve said.”

“I’m aware of my brother’s opinion; what’s yours?”

“You’re going to have to assemble a crew you trust. Since you intended to buy it on your own, do you have people in mind?”

“I’ve gotten to know key personnel quite well. I wouldn’t disrupt the staff, particularly with Bobby going… away.” She leaned forward and wrapped her arms around her bent legs. “What about you, Hammer? You said to take you out of the equation, but Mac’s proposal hinges on you.”
Heather Slade. Hammered (Kindle Locations 968-1033). The Invincibles Book Nine.

It takes a while but once Maeve opens up about the true reason she wants the bar. That reason is downright scary and dangerous. Although she doesn’t say exactly what the person stole from her, his affiliation with the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas makes things complicated.

All through this, the attraction between Maeve and Hammer accelerates. There’s also an interesting twist in all this as an Invicibles case intertwines with it.

I couldn’t put this book down, there are twists, turns, romance, and so much more jumping off the pages.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

<

Coming Soon!


Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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Amazon Author Page

Code Name: Ranger – K19 Shadow Operations Book 1 by Heather Slade


Code Name: Ranger
K19 Shadow Operations Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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Code name: Ranger
Target: Maisie Ann Jones
Mission: Uncover the whereabouts of a smart, sexy spitfire

RANGER
Undercover, confidential, and dangerous, the new K19 Shadows lurk where others won’t, ready to act in a moment’s notice. When Maisie Ann Jones disappears with a serial killer on the loose, it doesn’t look good. The others have turned up dead.I refuse to let anything harm this woman, after all, she stole my heart. I’m determined to find her, save her, and take down anyone who gets in my way.

MAISIE
A teenage crush. At least that’s what I thought it was. But when Ranger comes barreling back into my life, nothing stops how I feel or what I should want—I just want him.I’m a Dartmouth grad who took over my family’s business before I turned twenty-five. I don’t need a man. I’ve never been a damsel in distress. Until now. But I’m worried that he’s met his match. Will this serial killer destroy the only man I’ve ever loved?

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This book opens with a glimpse of the now, then goes back to establish everything. If you’ve read Onyx, this will be a bit familiar but from a different point of view.

There is a major threat against the K19 group and the men here have been ordered to shelter in this small town until the threat has been eliminated. As a result, with Onyx in command and Ranger as his second, a new unit of K19 has been established this one Shadow Operations.

Ranger’s family has always been a part of this lakeside community of camps (cabins) and along with his team they are making it their headquarters.  He’s trying to make the best of the inactivity and when they are invited to dinner at the Jones’ he remembers Maisie and the attraction between them. Now he’s wondering if it will be the same.

This is just one of many favorite scenes!

Finally, Al motioned for Onyx to follow him down the hallway. I couldn’t have been happier when Jimmy followed and Mary went into the kitchen, leaving Maisie and me alone.

“Can I get you anything to drink?” she offered.

“I’ll take a beer if you’ve got one.”

“When does anyone on the lake not have beer?” She rolled her eyes and pulled two from the refrigerator. “Glass?”

“Bottle’s good.”

“They may be a while, if you two want to go sit on the porch and chat while I finish up dinner,” suggested Mary.

Maisie led the way, and I followed, watching her high and tight ass that was covered by jeans but that I remembered seeing once or twice in a bikini. Man, I wished it was summer and I could get a glimpse of that hotness again.

“So, Ranger, the last time I saw you, I must’ve been fourteen or fifteen.”

I took a step closer and looked into her deep blue eyes. “We both know that isn’t true, beautiful. We saw plenty of each other after our first meet up. The last time you talked to me, you were fourteen.”

“I don’t recall you striking up a conversation.”

I took a sip of my beer. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe we did something more than converse the night of your eighteenth birthday.”

“Oh. Were you there that night?” Her eyes darted to the left, and her cheeks flamed a second time.

I leaned in closer still so my mouth was close to her ear. “I’m heartbroken you don’t remember.”

She took a step back. “Who’s lying now?”

I liked that she admitted she had been, in so many words at least. “I can tell you I’ve never forgotten it. I was quite taken with you.”

Her eyes were wide, and she studied my mouth. “So why didn’t you ask me out?”

“I think I did, but you were leaving for college the next day.”

“You remember that?”

“There’s a lot I recall about you.”

“I doubt that includes the first time we met.”

“You’re wrong. It was on the Canada Lake Store docks, and it was the day before I started working there that summer.”

“It was the only summer you did.”

“I filled in every now and then, but not as much as I would’ve liked. I came up every weekend I could, though.”

“Dinner’s ready,” I heard Mary call out from the kitchen.

“Wait,” said Maisie when I turned to walk in that direction. “What would’ve happened if I hadn’t left the next day?”

“I can’t say for certain, but I can tell you why I showed up at your party.”

“Why?”

I turned my body and crowded hers into the doorway. “To claim you as mine, sweet Maisie Ann Jones.” I waited for her to laugh or get pissed or have some kind of reaction to my Neanderthal proclamation. She didn’t have one besides her breathing accelerating and her pupils dilating— which was exactly what I’d been going for.
Heather Slade. Code Name: Ranger (Kindle Locations 149-175). K19 Shadow Operations Book One.

Now Maisie is taking over the family business and has big plans to revitalize the area. Unfortunately there are other things in play she doesn’t know about.

Ranger escorts her around to examine what makes some of the surrounding areas so successful and they wind up doing something very unexpected.

There are so many surprises, plenty of intrigue and of course some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Coming Soon!

Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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The Rancher and The Lady – The Royal Agents of MI6 Book 4 By Heather Slade


The Rancher and the Lady
The Royal Agents of MI6 Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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Winter Blog Blurb

What is sexier than a rough and rugged billionaire cowboy?
Team him up with a badass British spy who’s also a duchess.

A rancher hellbent on maintaining the status quo.
A lady who detests the elite.
Wild and wanton, opposites attract.

THE RANCHER

Long, hot days, working my ass off—just waiting for the cool nights to come—so I can kick back and enjoy the starry night. That’s what I do and who I am. Letting go of the passionate and determined lady seems unimaginable. With fire and heat, she can’t be tamed. She belongs elsewhere. It’s a truth I have to accept.

THE LADY

Debutante, elite, aristocrat—they’re all words that mean nothing. I need more. I need power, passion, adventure, and danger. Being a part of Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the only answer, my only dream, to end this nightmare of boredom. But walking away from him, the rugged and rough rancher who stole my heart, is more terrifying than anything. Can a lady have a bit of both worlds without everything crumbling down?_____________________
NOTE:
Previously released as Shadow.
While each book in the Royal Agents of MI6 series is a standalone with its own HEA, they may be more enjoyable read in order.

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Winter Blog Review

This book follows Darrow’s role in every book to date as it takes us through her story.

I really enjoyed reading about her time in Texas, where she gets the nickname Shadow from Quint. A full day spent with him when Wren is sick, turns into a fun night at the Long Branch. One that doesn’t quite end the way Darrow would have liked.

A turning point for them is going to the rodeo where Quint is competing.

This is a favorite scene.

I checked my watch for the fourth time in as many minutes. It was a little after seven. Quint had said we’d leave at eight. Maybe I should wheel my trunk out to the porch and wait there. Or would that make me look too anxious? Thank God Wren had suggested I wear jeans. I probably wouldn’t have, and what message might that have sent?

“Argh,” I growled again. Why was I doing this to myself? If only I hadn’t had dinner with Quint that night, I wouldn’t be so nervous now.

“Everything okay in here?”

I sprung off the bed when Quint stepped into the room. “Fine. Everything is fine. Are we ready to go? Sorry, I should’ve wheeled my trunk out. I don’t know what I was thinking. You know, maybe I should—”

Quint walked over and put a finger on my lips. “I will take care of your, uh… trunk. No, you shouldn’t have wheeled it out. We aren’t leaving for another half hour, and breakfast is ready and waiting in the kitchen. Before you say anything on that subject, I want you to know that Tee-Tee brought over some of her breakfast burritos earlier, and they’re being kept warm in the oven. Okay?”

His finger was still on my lips, so I nodded.

“Finally, I want you to know how glad I am that you’re going along this weekend. The other thing I want you to know is that I’m sorry the stupid way I acted has resulted in you being so nervous around me.”

“I’ve always been nervous around you,” I whispered when he moved his fingers away.

“I’m even sorrier for that.”

“Quint? What happened that night?”

For a minute, I thought he was leaving when he walked over to the bedroom door. Instead, he closed it and returned to where I stood.

“I had an amazing time with you that night. Better than any other night I can remember. You yourself told me that you were here in part because your previous relationship ended. If I hadn’t backed off, I might’ve done something neither of us was ready for.”

“I wanted you to.”

He cupped my cheek. “I know you did, and while I didn’t handle it right, we’re both better off now because nothing happened between us then.”

I took a step back. “I’m worried it’s going to happen again.”

He took my hand in his. “I promise it won’t.”

“What is this, exactly? Am I going to the rodeo to help with the team? Or am I going with you?”

Instead of answering, Quint brought his other hand to my cheek and looked into my eyes before leaning in to kiss me. What started off as a soft, sweet kiss, quickly became harder, more heated when I put my arms around his neck and kissed him back.

He didn’t pull away until we both heard Wren’s footsteps in the hallway.

“Does that answer your question?” he asked, resting his forehead against mine.

“Pretty much.”

When he took a step back, I was afraid I would crumble into a heap on the floor. In the history of kisses I’d experienced in my lifetime, that was by far the hottest. I hoped Quint didn’t ask me more questions, because I wasn’t sure I could speak let alone think. What had he said? Something about breakfast?

“Darrow, are you okay?”

“Um, yeah. Can we go eat now?”
Heather Slade. The Rancher and the Lady (Kindle Locations 1039-1068). The Royal Agents of MI6 Book Four.

So much happens in this book, it is emotional and fun with suspense and their simmer to sizzle relationship will have you sniffling.

Darrow is funny, loving and intelligent. Qualities that for some reason most of the males in her life don’t seem to see. She has also been influenced by a comment made by one of her professors at Oxford and that becomes pivotal in this book.

It’s her relationship with Quint that actually leads to some life changing events for her. I loved seeing her brothers Thornton ‘Shiver’ and his wife Orina ‘Losha’, and Sutton ‘Wilder’ with Wren in this book, Axel ‘Pinch’ is also very involved in this story along with Esland ‘True’ Darrow’s best friend. There is also Doc and Merrigan from K19 in this one and mentions of Burns and Leech. Oh, I can’t forget Ranger and Diesel, they’re around for a bit too.

If you haven’t read the other books, this one will make you want to go read them too. I have so much love for this series and really all of Heather’s series, the characters have wormed their way into my heart and I can’t wait for the next books.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Winter Blog More Books

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Winter Blog About Author

Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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Christmas Countdown: Christmas at Butler Ranch – A Butler Ranch Novella – by Heather Slade


Christmas at Butler Ranch
A Butler Ranch Novella
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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The magic of Christmas can be found in the stories of these beloved characters.

The two most requested stories from the Butler Ranch series are finally available in one book!
Laird and Sorcha Butler are the glue that holds not just their own family together, but the countless agents and operatives who have trained and worked with them. Their story unfolds from the streets of Belfast to the vineyards of the Central Coast of California.

Ainsley Butler is only of her siblings not married. She’s engaged, but it could go down as the longest engagement in history. Cristobal Avila is the boy next door who became the love of her life. So why is he in Northern California setting the genetic research world on fire, while she’s five hours away helping to run her family’s winery operations.

The prologue to this book is something that has me tearing up. Laird and Sorcha are favorites of mine.

But the first chapter takes us back a bit into Ainsley’s story.

We start with her beginning college, attending Stanford is her dream. She never considered anywhere else because that’s where Cristobal is. Unfortunately for her he really ignored her after he ran into her and Skye. Then came the day he didn’t anymore, her twenty-first birthday.

It seems Cris has been fighting his inclination to be with her from that first day. Now he’s not going to fight it anymore.

Now it’s been six years that these two have been living together, and Cris is tired of hiding it from their families. He issues an ultimatum that Aisley just wasn’t ready to comply with. It’s been a month since he moved out and he’s finally realized he couldn’t force Aisley to come clean to the families, he loves her and doesn’t want to be without her any longer.

Fortunately for him Aisley is ready to come clean so they can be together at Maddox and Alex’s wedding. Ainsley is more than a little surprised at both families reaction, although she really shouldn’t have been.

Now there’s the wedding and also Brodie and Peyton’s baby is due any time, oh and Christmas is right around the corner too.

This is one of my favorite scenes.

“May I have this dance, niña bonita.”

I put my hand in Cris’ and let him guide me around the makeshift dance floor set up in the tasting room.

“It was a beautiful wedding, don’t you agree?” I asked, resting my cheek against his shoulder.

“Beautiful bridesmaid too.”

“Your sister is glowing.” I wondered if he knew Alex was pregnant, or if anyone did. Several people here tonight probably suspected it, since neither she nor Maddox had anything more than sparkling water to drink.

“Tomorrow is Christmas,” Cris murmured. “Our first together.”

In the past, we’d talked about telling our families we couldn’t leave Palo Alto for one reason or another, just so we could spend one Christmas morning together, but neither of us had been able to go through with it.

“I guess we should decide what we’re going to do tomorrow…”

Cris smiled. “We’re going to sleep as late as we want to, take a walk on the beach, have breakfast—just the two of us—then, in the afternoon, we’ll visit both of our families.”

“Cris…I…uh…um…”

“Didn’t get me anything for Christmas?”

I hadn’t, but how did he always know what I was thinking?

We’d been broken up. Then after he came to the Kensey building last weekend, we’d only been apart when he was working or I was teaching, or finishing up my paperwork for the semester. I’d tried a couple of times to get something for him online, but nothing seemed right.

“I hope you didn’t get anything for me…”

“Just something little, Ains.” He leaned forward and brushed my lips with his. “You gave me the thing I wanted most already. The only thing I wanted.”

“I’m sorry I held out for so long.”

“Don’t be. What did I overhear Maddox say a couple of days ago? It’s over. Let’s move on.”

When the song we were dancing to ended, Cris led me over to where Alex and Maddox stood, talking with Peyton and Brodie, who held Kismet in his arms.

“She’s so beautiful, Brodie.” I kissed the baby’s head.

“I’d let you hold her, but you have two people in line ahead of you.”

I looked over and saw Peyton’s two sons from another marriage, Jamison and Finn, waiting patiently.

“Who won the toss to go next?” I asked.

Finn raised his hand in the air. “I did!”

“Because you cheated,” said Jamison.

“Did not.”

The older of the two shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. Even if I got to hold her first, you’d just be bugging me every five seconds for your turn anyway.”

“I doubt any of you ever argued over holding me.” I nudged Brodie, who shook his head, and then sat next to Finn, making sure he cradled his sister’s head and held her tight, but not too tight.

I leaned back, thinking it was Cris standing behind me, but Maddox rested his hands on my shoulders. I peeked at the ring on his left hand, then turned around and noticed Cris dancing with Alex.

“I like your ring.”

“Scottish thistle.”

I rolled my eyes. “Yes, Mad. I know.”

“Have you seen Al’s ring?”

I had, but until Alex pulled me aside to show it off, I hadn’t realized that the first time she saw it, was when my brother slipped it on her finger during the ceremony.

“I can’t believe you chose the same thing for each other, with neither of you knowing it.”

Alex’s ring had a Scottish thistle design as well, but far more elaborate than Mad’s. Hers was made of platinum, with one large diamond in the center and several smaller ones all around the band.

“You know why we never fought over holding you?” he asked.

“I was just joking, Maddox.”

“I’m not. It’s because Kade was always first. He’d spend hours sitting on the front porch, rocking you to sleep. Even after you’d closed your eyes, he’d still hold you. Ma would scold him, saying you’d never go to sleep on your own if he held you so much, but he ignored her.”

“He ignored Ma? You had me convinced until you added that, Maddox. Tell me the truth, did Kade even hold me once?”

“It’s true, lass,” said our mother, who I hadn’t realized was listening.

Right after Maddox asked our mother to dance, Naughton joined me, tweaking my cheek. “You look about a million times better than you did at the last wedding.”

“Thanks, Naught. I appreciate the compliment so much.”

“I heard you and Mad talking about Kade. I remember him holding you all the time.”

“I bet you weren’t second in line.”

I caught the flash of hurt on his face. “I’m sorry. That wasn’t funny.”

“I guess you owed me one since I just told you, you looked like shit at Brodie’s wedding.”

I slugged him. “You’re hysterical, Naughton.”

I watched Brodie help Finn hand the baby to his brother. “It’s sad, though, isn’t it?”

“What’s that, Ains?”

“That Kade isn’t here to see Maddox get married, just like he wasn’t at your wedding or Brodie’s.”

Naughton put his arm around me and kissed my forehead. “We all miss him, sweetheart.”
Slade, Heather. Christmas at Butler Ranch (Kindle Locations 558-604). Sparrow Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Of course things aren’t going to go totally smooth for Cris and Ainsley, she has doubts and he isn’t seeing things the way she is.

We learn a lot more about how Laird and Sorcha got together under some difficult circumstances.

Plenty of ups and downs, laughter, tears and surprises in this wonderful visit back to the Butler Ranch.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.

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Amazon Author Page

The Commoner and the Correspondent – The Royal Agents of MI6 Book 3by Heather Slade


The Commoner and the Correspondent
The Royal Agents of MI6 Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

What could be sexier than British-accented spy?
Put him in a tuxedo and hand him a brandy.

A commoner buried in his work.
A correspondent in over her head.
Fiery and furious, they dig deep into the throes of passion.

THE COMMONER

Reporters need to back off. I’ve got a job to do. Being overworked, overwhelmed, and underappreciated, the last thing this M15 agent needs is a sexy and incredibly persuasive journalist knocking me off my game. But the terror in her eyes tells me she needs me—in more ways than one.

THE CORRESPONDENT

The byline of a lifetime. Every reporter wants to unearth the biggest news story to hit the globe. And I’m close—so close. But when a body is left on my floor with a note, “You’re next!” I know I’m in over my head. Can this correspondent let down her guard and let the commoner take over?

While each book in the Royal Agents of MI6 series is a standalone with its own HEA, they may be more enjoyable read in order.
______________________
NOTE:
Previously released as Pinch.

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review-fall-cornucopia

Pinch and Darrow always had an on and off relationship. Now it’s truly over and they are both moving on. However the way Darrow is moving on is just a little bit different since at the moment no one knows where she is. Well that isn’t exactly true, some folks know, just not Esland.

Esland is Darrow’s best friend and she’s concerned about her, but she also has a problem. Darrow told her if she ever needed help she should go to Pinch. When she does, well lets say the first encounter doesn’t go well. The second one, gets his attention.

This is a favorite scene.

My father and grandfather before him were the head groundskeepers at the abbey. As a child, the three Whittaker siblings and I had explored every nook and cranny of the vast estate. While my father lived in a modest cottage rather than in the abbey itself or in one of the other manor houses, I’d always considered the estate my home in the same way the Whittakers did.

“I thought that’s where you were taking me.”

“No.” I didn’t tell her about Wilder’s offer, or that I preferred being farther away from London.

“You understand that your life was threatened, Esland?”

She looked out the window even though it was too dark to see anything.

“You’re not surprised.”

“I’m a journalist. Many of us are threatened or even killed for the injustices we expose.”

“This is personal. Whoever is issuing the threat knows you as Ezzie.”

She wouldn’t look at me, which was to be expected. Her hand went to her throat, indicating her subconscious was in protective mode.

“There will be an investigation into the murder. MI5 will take over and can keep it out of the media. However, if there’s anything I need to know before we’re involved in an official capacity, this is your opportunity to tell me.”

“Are you going back to London tonight?”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

That surprised her enough that she turned and looked at me. “Tomorrow?”

I shook my head. “You are, for all intents and purposes, under protective custody.”

“I’m in custody?”

“Listen to what I say, Esland. Under, not in. It means I’m keeping you safe.”

“There must be others who could do that.”

Right. There were presently three others on Kingham grounds who could very well do the job. However, until I was able to gain clarity on why my gut was insisting I be the one to protect her, I’d listen to instinct alone.

“You don’t even like me.”

True statement, although it was more the job she did and how it impacted my investigations that I didn’t care for.

“Why did you say you were at the pub to see me earlier?” I asked. “Were you already aware of the dead man in your flat?”

“No.”

“So why?”

She shrugged.

“You’re not a child, Esland. I’ll ask again. Why were you at the pub to see me?”

“I wanted to talk to you about Darrow. And then you dumped me in the street. Nice move, by the way.”

“First, sarcasm has no place in our conversations. Second, you’re lying to me. Lastly, as I said before, I didn’t dump you anywhere.”

“Why did you do it?” she asked. “Am I really that horrible of a person, or that much of a nuisance?”

I honestly couldn’t tell her why I’d picked her up and carried her out of the pub. Even I had to admit it was a wanker’s move.

“I’m sorry I did that.”

“Are you refusing to answer my question?”

“To be honest with you, I don’t know why.”

I saw a slight nod of understanding.

“Thank you for the apology.”

She did rub on my nerves, but was it her job or was it something else entirely? When Pique offered to take over Esland’s detail, my reaction had been inexplicable as well. I’d immediately felt an overwhelming need to protect her, even from my colleague. When she asked if I was returning to London, a feeling settled in my chest like a heavy stone. The idea of entrusting her safety to anyone else was unacceptable. Why? I couldn’t explain it.

“Tell me about your parents.”

She sighed, taking a long time to answer. “I miss them so much.”

“I’m sure you do. What were they like?”

“I never doubted they loved me.”

“But?”

“They were a unit unto themselves. I was the third to two who didn’t need one.”

I didn’t hear hurt in her voice; I heard acceptance.

“They were on their way home from visiting you when the accident happened.”

“Yes. I was at university.”

“Must’ve been rough. You said earlier that you have no other family.”

“Both my parents were only children. I don’t think they ever tried to have another child.”

So no aunts, uncles, or cousins, also like she’d said earlier.

“Why journalism?”

“My mother was a reporter, albeit a very different one than I am.”

“How so?”

“She was more of a social reporter.”

“How would you describe yourself?”

“Investigative.”

“As I well know.”

When I saw a slight smile from her, I smiled too.

“I never told a soul about Wren’s true identity.”

I nodded.

“I told you earlier that I found out from Darrow.”

“Yes.” I shook my head. One would’ve thought Darrow, of all people, would’ve known better.

Esland stood. “Where am I sleeping?”

“Bedroom.”

“I can sleep on a sofa somewhere. I don’t need to take the only bed.”

“Not up for discussion.”

“You’re very intransigent, aren’t you? Your way or no way?”

“Sometimes.”

“Right. Only sometimes. I wonder if Darrow would agree?”

I watched Esland walk away, knowing her estimation was dead-on. Darrow would say that I consistently refused to compromise, that I wouldn’t apologize, or even try to see things her way. I could hear her voice in my head, saying all of those things. Not that she was any less stubborn than I was.
Heather Slade. The Commoner and the Corresondent (Kindle Locations 346-401). The Royal Agents of MI6 Book Three.

I have to say getting information out of Esland was much like pulling teeth for Pinch. It doesn’t help that he’s falling hard and fast for her. She on the other hand has loved him for a very long time and her friendship with Darrow is holding her back.

Plenty of suspense and intrigue as we find out why the body and threat turned up in Esland’s apartment. We finally find out where Darrow is, we see some folks from K19 as well, I love that by the way.

Not an easy relationship but one that makes so much sense. Lots of memories, with a few twists and turns that may surprise you.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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Sainted – The Invincibles Book 8 By Heather Slade


Sainted
The Invincibles Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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He’s a playboy MI6 agent
trying to change his ways.
She’s a future minister jilted at the altar.
Together, they’re INVINCIBLE.

SAINT

I’ve got a reputation to mend—a lifestyle to correct. Hell, I’m no saint; I like my women. But I want this job more than anything. Walking the straight and narrow is going to be hard, but being an INVINCIBLE is even harder. But the hardest job of all: not torturing the deadbeat thug who left a beautiful and innocent woman high and dry.

HARPER

Jilted, alone, and totally broke. Stranded in a foreign country was not exactly my fantasy honeymoon. Yet here I am with no clue how to get out of this. And then out of nowhere, I’m gifted a miracle in the shape of a strong, sexy, and stubborn MI6 agent who insists on being my knight in shining armor. Whoever said that the sinners are much more fun have never met SAINT.

Harper had done something a bit spontaneous after being left at the alter. She decides to go on the honeymoon alone. She’s figures either David would show up or the seat next to her would be empty. Instead a very handsome Englishman takes the seat.

Nivan ‘Saint’ St. Thomas, was fortunate there was a cancellation. He’d been going to ask ‘Money’ McTiernan for help to find Jinyan Tai Man, but when he realized his assistant was the woman he was with the night before, he changed his mind.

The two of them enjoy conversation as they learn about each other. He’s surprised to find she has her degree in Christian Leadership, just as she’s surprised he’s former MI6. When they land he still has some identification that speeds them both through customs and he insists on taking her to her hotel.

That’s where everything begins to go south.

This is a favorite scene.

While Saint had said he was no longer employed by MI6, he still carried some kind of credential that got us through customs in record time. At least that’s what he’d said. I had no way of knowing how long something like that would normally have taken in a place as busy as Heathrow.

He insisted I allow him to take me to the hotel. An older man drove us and when we arrived at the Savoy, Saint also insisted on coming in while I checked in. Maybe I was foolish to be so trusting of a man I’d just met, and on a plane no less. But there was something about him that made me feel safe. More, if it came down to it, I innately knew Saint would protect me.

Unlike my experience with customs, it seemed to be taking an inordinate amount of time for the man at the front desk to find my reservation.

“I’m terribly sorry, miss, but I can’t find a reservation for either Godfrey or Lipscomb.”

“I don’t understand. I have a confirmation number.”

He pounded away on the computer keyboard for several more minutes and sighed when Saint, who had excused himself to the gentlemen’s room, returned and inquired about the holdup.

“As I’ve told Miss Lipscomb—”

“Godfrey,” Saint and I said at the same time.

“Right. There is no reservation. From what I can find, it appears it was canceled more than two weeks ago.”

Two weeks?” The words hurt even worse than Mouse telling me Dave had changed his mind about getting married. If he canceled the hotel two weeks ago, he’d known then he had no intention of going through with our wedding.

“You have no rooms available?” Saint asked.

“Completely booked, as are most of the hotels this week.”

“Understood.” Saint led me away from the desk and over to a seating area. “I’m afraid—”

I put my hand on his arm. “I’ve already decided what I’ll do.”

He raised a brow. “You have?”

“It’s easy. I’ll take a cab back to the airport and go home. I shouldn’t have come in the first place.”

“That seems a bit extreme. I’m sure we can find someplace for you to stay so you can at least see London.”

“I’d rather go home.”

He sighed. “Very well, but let’s make arrangements from here. You may not be able to catch a flight out until tomorrow.”

I didn’t know what I’d do if that were the case. However, trying to book a flight from here would be far easier than attempting to navigate an airport as big as Heathrow. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

I pulled out my laptop, connected to the public Wi-Fi, opened my email, and searched for my flight information.

“I don’t understand,” I mumbled when I logged into the airline’s website and searched my confirmation number.

“What?”

“It says the reservation was for a one-way flight. It didn’t say this earlier. I swear it didn’t.”

“Let me see.” Saint took the laptop from my hands and tapped the keyboard. “It appears your return flight was canceled while you were en route.”

“I can’t believe this.” I pulled out my wallet, trying my hardest to get through this without falling apart. “I’ll just buy my own ticket home.”

“No doubt it will be quite pricey at the last minute.”

“No more expensive than staying on here a few more days.”

“True.”

He handed me back my computer and I searched for the cheapest flight I could find. I hit the reserve button before I could talk myself out of it. I knew it would be a far cry from the first class experience I’d just had but I didn’t care. I’d been foolish to get on the plane in the first place. The sooner I was back home, the sooner I could get on with the rest of my life— without Dave in it. Mouse had certainly been right when she called him douchey. Although right now, the words I’d use to describe him were far worse.

With every number of my credit card I entered in, I hit the keys harder. He had to have known I got on the plane, what was now, yesterday. Had he so little regard for me that he couldn’t allow me a ticket home?

I entered my card’s expiration date and security number and waited while the payment was processing. I still had no idea what I’d do until flight time tomorrow, but I’d figure that out in a minute.

My laptop pinged and a red message flashed on the screen. “Payment declined.” As hard as I’d been hitting the keyboard, I’d probably entered the number wrong. But after I reentered it, the same thing happened.

“This can’t be right.” I logged into my credit card company’s website to check my limit, which I knew was far more than the price of the ticket. “Available credit is zero?” I said, not intending to out loud.

Saint took my laptop from my hands, closed the lid, and leaned it up against the side of his chair.

“What are you doing?”

He took both my hands in his. “I fear there is more you will find that will be very upsetting. Rather than do this here, I’m taking you to my flat.”

“But—”

“But nothing. Let’s go, Harper.” He picked up my computer, stuck it in its case, and tucked it under his arm. With the other hand, he grabbed my suitcase and walked toward the door. Once outside, he motioned for his driver to open the back and shoved my belongings inside, before ushering me into the car.

“I don’t understand what’s happening,” I said a few minutes into our silent drive.

“We’ll be at the flat in a few minutes and we’ll talk then.” He motioned to the man in the front seat and I nodded.

“Where are we?” I asked when we pulled up in front of a crescent-shaped building that looked more like a hotel than a place where someone lived.

“My flat is on the top floor.”

Saint got my bags, and his, out of the car, refusing to let me help him. I followed him in through doors that led to a lobby not unlike the one we’d been in at the hotel— except there was no visible front desk— and over to a bank of elevators. He seemed preoccupied, which made me feel worse about dumping more of my burdens on his shoulders. I just got the feeling that saying so wouldn’t make it better.

Once in the elevator, he set the bag he’d been carrying in his right hand down and pressed his palm to a flat piece of glass. He left it there until we started to move.

The doors opened directly into a foyer where Saint dropped our bags.

“May I use the ladies’ room?”

“Of course. My apologies.” He showed me down a hallway. “First door on your right.”

When I came out, he had poured two drinks, handed one to me, and motioned for me to be seated.

“I’m going to ask you a question that may seem intrusive.”

“Go ahead.”

“Did you and Lipscomb share financial accounts?”

“Not until recently.”

“When specifically?”

What he was suggesting dawned on me and my stomach sank. “A month ago.”

He nodded. “Were your assets significant?”

“Not really. I had some savings— a small inheritance from my grandmother.”

Saint leaned forward and placed his hand on top of mine, a look I couldn’t quite decipher on his face. “I suspect you may find your credit cards maxed out and your funds withdrawn from the accounts.”

The pit that had sunk my stomach was growing into a rock. As much as I didn’t want to look to confirm his suspicions, I knew I had to.

When I stood to get my laptop, Saint reached out and grabbed my wrist. “You don’t need to do this now.”

“I do.”

He nodded, stood, walked into another room, and returned seconds later. “Wi-Fi info,” he said, handing me a piece of paper.

I murmured my thanks, hoping what Saint suggested about the state of my finances was wrong, even though in my gut I somehow knew he was right.

Sure enough, Dave had withdrawn almost every penny sometime yesterday. What in God’s name would I do now?

My laptop slid to the floor with a thud. I put my head in my hands and cried.
Heather Slade. Sainted (Kindle Locations 341-414). The Invincibles Book Eight.

Saint is more than helpful and encourages Harper to stay for a while in England while he finds out where her money is.

I love the way these two fall for each other, while the attraction has been there since they met, it grows rapidly as Saint shows her London and some of the surrounding areas. Including the area where he grew up and an introduction to a Vicar who could use some help.

This book is lots of fun, with a bit of political intrigue, and just a touch of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

<

Coming Soon!


Heather Slade

My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.

I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.

I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.


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