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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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Falling For The Billionaire’s Daughter – Sutton Billionaires Book 6 by Lori Ryan


Falling For The Billionaire’s Daughter
Sutton Billionaires Book 6
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

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He can’t trust the people who should have his back…

Pressured by his boss to connect with his new team, the last thing Kaeden O’Shea needs is a woman in the way—one who clearly has something to hide. But his instincts have him on high alert and he can’t shake the idea that he needs to ride to her rescue.

Running, hiding, and planting misleading clues means Joy Wilson doesn’t dare let anyone get close. Not even the man who tempts her at every turn…because there’s too much at stake. Too much she has to protect.

Two missions collide, and all bets are off.

Steamy romance meets heart-stopping suspense in the Sutton Billionaires Series.

NOTE:
This is the sixth book in the series but it can be read as a standalone story with no cliffhangers. If you’d rather start at book one, grab The Billionaire Deal by Lori Ryan. This book was previously released as part of the Sutton Capital Series under the name According to Plan.

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Kaeden tends to micro-manage everything he doesn’t do himself. Now his boss hands him the planning of the company retreat and team-building. On the line is the promotion he wants and Jack needs to see him delegate to the team the hotel put together. Nothing had been planned except the first night dinner and now Kaeden is in charge of planning the rest. He has an on site liaison and two Hospitality interns to handle things but control is something Kaeden seems to need more than anything. What could possibly go wrong?

Joy is his liaison with the hotel and she gets a kick out of his micromanaging. Kaeden doesn’t handle any twists or changes well and a few things start to go awry. Fortunately for him the interns and Joy has things under control. In spite of her adding some twists to his scheduled events Joy manages to get under his skin.

This is a favorite scene with one of those little twists.

Joy watched the group unload outside Crepes a la Carte and was glad when none of them looked put out by the long line that was already halfway down the block. The place was actually a cart not a restaurant, though they did have a small store front option on the other side of the street. She’d already told some of them they might want to cut through the alley that led to the storefront to see if there was a shorter line there, but they all seemed happy to get into line at the cart.

She saw Mia who she’d met earlier that morning talking to a woman she hadn’t met yet but thought was named Sarah if she went by process of elimination and the list of people she’d been given by her boss.

She was beginning to learn which kids went with which parents but it wasn’t easy. They all seemed like they parented each other’s kids as easily as they did their own, making it all the more confusing.

Jack’s auburn-haired wife, Kelly, smiled at Kaeden. “Crepes were a great idea. You’re not bad at this trip planning thing.”

Joy stifled a laugh as Kaeden glanced her way before brushing off the compliment and telling Kelly it had been Joy’s suggestion.

Kelly beamed her way. “Any fan of crepes is a friend of mine.”

Jack, Andrew, and Chad came up to the group just then and Joy’s recollection of Jack being Kelly’s husband was confirmed when he kissed her temple.

“Kel, it looks like there’s a small park a couple of blocks down the street. We’re going to take the kids down there while you guys wait in line. If you don’t mind waiting?”

Kelly sent him a look that said he was crazy. “Do I mind getting to hang with my girlfriends in line while you take the kids off our hands?”

Jack laughed and squeezed her close for a minute, dropping another kiss to her cheek before he and the others began herding the kids toward the park.

Kaeden watched them go. “Don’t you need to get their orders?”

Now Kelly directed her look toward him. “The kids will take anything sweet and the men will take anything so long as it’s food. Besides, crepes. There’s no way to go wrong with them. At all.”

Joy had to try to cover her mouth with her hand in a half-assed casual way to suppress her laugh now. Kaeden just didn’t get crepes, but clearly the women in front of him did. There was the blonde Joy thought was Jill and another blonde she thought was Jennie, but it was entirely possible she was switching the two. She had only met them that morning.

“Tell me you’ve had crepes.” That was maybe-Jill talking, hands on her hips as she looked at Kaeden.

Maybe-Jennie joined in. “Crepes are ah-may-zing. Gooey and light and perfect. The reviews for this place say they’re incredible.” She put a hand on her stomach as they inched forward in the line. “My stomach is going to revolt if I don’t give it one soon.”

Samantha walked up to the group and nudged maybe-Jill. “Men never get the draw of a good crepe until they’ve had one. It’s just above their heads.”

Kaeden snorted and all the women swung their heads comically in his direction. Joy lost the ability to hold in her laughter. She couldn’t help it.

He pointed in her direction. “No I-told-you-sos. I get it. They like crepes.”

“Love,” the women said in unison.

Kelly said, “Like luuuuv love.”

The women ended up chatting together while they all moved up in line and Kaeden and Joy were left paired together while the line crept forward.

She tried to ignore the fact that to keep half the sidewalk clear for pedestrians he was standing close enough to her that their arms were almost brushing. Close enough to feel that heat of anticipation at the almost contact.

“You look like you’re not going to hold it in.”

Joy shook her head. “What? The I-told-you-so? It’s staying in me just fine.” She could only grin at him as he scowled at her and Joy realized how good it felt to laugh, to be playful. And how surprising it was that it was happening with this man.

She hadn’t had this kind of laughter in a while and she wouldn’t have it again for a long time. Not when she had to move on soon. There would be nothing but strain and unease and the insecurity of trying to find a new situation for at least a month or two. She remembered when she thought her job at a tech firm was stressful. It was nothing compared to living in a car or a seedy motel and wondering if you’d be safe through the night.

None of the places she’d holed up in the last two years had been like this and she doubted wherever she went to next would be either.

Kaeden cut into her bleak thoughts. “So what kind should I get?”

They were getting closer to the front of the line now and Joy looked at the sign with the list of options. “The monte cristo and the lemon souffle are my favorites. Strawberry shortcake is really good too, though. But the women were right. You can’t go wrong with any of them.”

Samantha shouted back an “amen” to Joy before stepping up to place her order.

Kaeden laughed but he nodded. “Alright, I’ll get those ones.”

“What do you mean, those ones? I was giving you choices not a list. You can’t eat three crepes.”

His brows went up. “I thought these things were gold. Why wouldn’t I eat three of them?”

“They’re big.”

“And?”

Twenty minutes later Joy was still shaking her head at him but now it was because she was watching him take the last bite of his third crepe.

“So you liked them?” she asked.

“I think the word you’re looking for is luuuuuuv,” he said drawing the word out like Kelly had.
Lori Ryan. Falling for the Billionaire’s Daughter (Kindle Locations 345-398). Kindle Edition.

As things heat up between Kaeden and Joy, he also realizes she has a secret, one that bothers her.

Gaining her trust enough to let him help her is not easy. When it finally happens things are about to get seriously dangerous for both Joy and her mother.

It’s as Kaeden gets Samantha involved he realizes that Jack, Logan and Chad really do have his back. Something he never let himself see before.

This book is full of laughter, fun, suspense, romance and sizzle with just a bit of action to spice things up.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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The Billionaire’s Navy SEAL – Sutton Billionaires Book 5 By Lori Ryan


The Billionaire’s Navy SEAL
Sutton Billionaires Book 5
By
Lori Ryan

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A man struggling
to leave the battlefield behind,
a woman powerful enough
to help him all the way home.

Logan Stone should be happy. More than happy, in fact. He’s Sutton Capital’s newest executive, no longer a Navy SEAL in the line of fire, fighting for his country and his brothers-in-arms. Now he spends his days working side-by-side with Samantha Page, the sexy, brilliant woman of his dreams.

But Logan is fighting a different kind of battle; one no one realizes he’s in. While he’s focused on managing his PTSI, something much more sinister enters his world and he must battle to save Samantha’s life and their growing love.

When her life is threatened, he spirals downward. If he succumbs to the PTSI clawing at him, she’ll be left to fend for herself against threats neither of them could see coming.

Steamy romance meets heart-stopping suspense in the Sutton Billionaires Series. This is the fifth book in the series but it can be read as a standalone story with no cliffhangers. If you’d rather start at book one, grab The Billionaire Deal by Lori Ryan. A shorter version of this book was previously released as part of the Sutton Capital Series.

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Logan Stone is the newest addition to Sutton Capitol, even though he still has some PTSI issues he’s come a long way since the nightmares have stopped.

He was really early his first day and Jack questions him on it. He covers with he wanted an early start. Jack takes him to his office to give him some files he would later be reviewing with Samantha. Now as they are leaving the office they overhear a conversation between Samantha, Jennie and Tanya.

I have to say it was hysterical, and was one of my favorite scenes.

Jennie had been trying to convince Sam to hire a personal trainer. Sam’s budget could definitely afford it, but frankly, she wasn’t sure she wanted to pay someone to hound her to exercise. There would be no wheedling out of it if she wasn’t in the mood, which, most of the time, she wasn’t.

“And, tell me again why you have to divorce your gym?” Jennie emphasized the divorce part of the question, as if to stress how unusual it was to talk about divorcing a fitness center. Yeah, okay, so maybe that had been the wrong choice of words.

“It’s got bad juju,” Sam explained. “It’s cursed. You can’t deny the evidence. First, someone stole my wallet in the locker room the one time I forgot to bring my lock, then I ended up with a flat tire a week later, and yesterday someone sideswiped my car in the parking lot. They don’t have cameras in the lot, so I’m screwed. I can get her repaired, but she’ll never be the same.”

Jennie nodded and sipped her drink. Everyone knew Sam’s Jaguar was her baby. She didn’t splurge on things often, but that car had been her one great splurge and she babied it. Coming out and seeing the scrapes and dents all along one side of Dahlia had made Sam want to cry. Or hit something. Or throw things. She’d actually done all of those things. And, stomped her feet.

“That is some bad juju. Maybe you could join another gym. Mine doesn’t have an ice cream shop nearby, but there’s a donut place.”

“Ooooooo. Donuts could work.” Her grin was wide, but the reason for her and Jennie’s early arrival in the office walked through the door, distracting her from thoughts of food and workouts.

Three men and one woman followed the office’s human resources director into the room.

The men looked like they belonged in a magazine or on the pages of a calendar. One of those calendars. And the woman looked to be five feet one or two inches of size-zero gorgeousness, designed to make other women feel inconsequential, at best.

“You have got to be freaking kidding me!” Samantha said, probably a little louder than she’d planned to.

She heard Jennie sputter and cough over a mouthful of latte and had to admit to a bit of chagrin when Jennie turned amused eyes on her.

“What?” Sam said defensively. “You’re telling me you expected that for our new science and technology department? We should have gotten geeks and nerds, not underwear models and a woman who could easily pose for … for … for whatever the biggest fashion magazine is,” Sam said with a glance to her own outfit.

Sam would have no fashionable clothes if it weren’t for Jennie. When Sam’s online game took off and she started earning more money than she knew what to do with, Jennie helped Sam trade in boxy business suits for cute skirts and blouses that accentuated Sam’s curves. It had taken some talking to get Sam to see that, when showcased properly, her curves were beautiful.

And now Sam had a personal shopper who brought her clothes each month to choose from. She let Sam have her own unique style, as evidenced by the purple blouse and matching purple boots she wore today, which Sam loved.

Still, even with the personal shopper and help from her friends, Sam wasn’t what one would consider a fashionista. Hence, her lack of knowledge about the titles of the latest and greatest fashion magazines.

Her friend shushed her and laughed as they watched the HR director continue her tour, the underwear models in question following her as the group made their way across the room.

“I’m just not sure I understand your issue with it, Sam. If I was going to be in charge of getting those guys settled into the company, I’m pretty sure I’d be psyched, not complaining. I mean, if I didn’t have Chad, that is,” Jennie said with a sly grin.

Jennie was happily married to Chad Thompson, head of Sutton Capital’s security division and part owner in the company. Chad was also Jack’s cousin and best friends with Andrew Weston, Sutton’s Chief Financial Officer.

Chad, incidentally, was model-worthy himself. It didn’t surprise Samantha that Jennie was married to such a good-looking man, since Jennie could also easily have landed the cover of Vogue or some swimsuit or underwear spread.

Samantha, on the other hand, was a normal person. She was one of those “average” females you heard about, who wore more than thimble-sized clothing. She was taller than the average woman at five foot eleven. Oh, Jennie told her differently.

Jennie said she was voluptuous and sexy, and Sam saw that to some extent. But she also faced reality. If she were a model, she’d be showing off sweatshirts and galoshes, not underwear.

“Why am I not happy about this?” Sam gestured to the men who stood in a loose circle across the room, each with the kind of easy confidence born of above-average looks and a physical fitness level that can only come from years of honing and driven attention to exercise. “Because we need some normal people around here.”

Another coworker approached on Sam’s side as she finished her sentence.

“Damn right we do,” Tanya, the newcomer, said with a nod. Tanya worked in the finance department of Sutton and often had lunch with Jennie and Samantha.

“See, she gets it,” Samantha said to Jennie, as she bumped her hip in solidarity against Tanya’s, earning a smile from the other woman. “We’re surrounded by above-average overachievers who look like they were crafted in the Ken and Barbie doll factory instead of a womb. We need average guys around here for those of us that weren’t graced with those kind of genes,” Sam said, casting a glance at Jennie. “No offense.”

“Um, none taken. I think,” Jennie answered with a huff of a laugh. “So you were hoping for ugly?”

“Not ugly. Just . . . normal. They’re science geeks. I mean, come on. These people are supposed to be walking computers on everything from nanotech and biochemistry, to immunotherapy and whatever the hell else they do. They should, at the very least, be a little pale from being indoors too long, not tanned and glowing and all . . . all . . .”

“Godlike,” Tanya finished for Sam.

“Yeah.” Sam nodded. “Godlike. You’d think Jack would have given the teeniest bit of consideration to us mere mortals when he hired them. It’s just selfish, is what it is. Selfish and inconsiderate. Just because Jack’s all walking, talking sex-on-a-stick doesn’t mean he shouldn’t think of the rest of us once in a while. The guy could at least throw us a bone for once. Is that too much to ask?”

Sam looked at Tanya and grinned, expecting to find her co-worker grinning back. Instead, Tanya looked past Sam and Jennie, her face a pale, pasty color—somewhat like the flour-and-water glue Samantha’s mother used to make for her dioramas. In fact, she looked a bit like she might be sick.

Sam turned her head slowly, flinching the second she caught sight of her boss, the sex-on-a-stick man, in the flesh. Jack Sutton stood in the doorway of the office next to hers, another man next to him, both wearing expressions that clearly told her they’d heard every word she’d said.

Jennie only laughed, but given who her husband was, she could do that.

Sam heard Tanya squeak and mumble something about paperwork piling up. Sam knew if she turned, she’d see Tanya slinking back to her cubicle, where she’d no doubt crawl under her desk and hide.

But she didn’t turn to check on Tanya. She was rooted to the spot, trying to figure out how to get her foot to either come back up her throat or go down smoothly. Her size nine, chunky-heeled, purple boot that she thought had looked so cute this morning was going nowhere. It was firmly lodged in her throat as a weird, choked sound eked out past it.

Before she could come up with words to try to cover her mortification, Jack grinned and gracefully let her off the hook.

“Jennie, Sam, have you met Logan Stone?”

Sigh. Had she met Logan Stone? No. She hadn’t met him. She’d seen him, though. And drooled over him from across the room at her friend’s wedding three months ago. And she’d dreamed about him.

She’d lusted after his dark eyes and the five o’clock shadow that graced a chiseled jaw and outlined a mouth she wanted to bite. Hair so dark it was almost black. Thick hair she wanted to pull as he, um … so, yes, she’d dreamed about him. Hot, sweaty dreams that she’d prayed never to wake up from. In her dreams, they’d done a lot more than meet, going well past “hello, how are you” to “let me stick my tongue down your throat while we get started on our first-born child.”

Somewhere in the back of Sam’s mind, she knew running her gaze up and down the man’s body was rude, but who could stop themselves?

He stood there all dark and scruffy in dark slacks and a charcoal sweater that hugged his biceps and chest. He looked photoshoot ready, and Sam had a hard time not being grateful that he wasn’t covering himself up with a suit jacket.

She guessed going from BDUs and a flak jacket, or whatever it was SEALs wore, to a business suit was too much. She liked his choice of compromise just fine. She wondered briefly if spinning her finger in the air to indicate he should turn so she could see his backside would be too much.

Probably. But maybe?

“Hi, Logan. It’s so good to see you again,” Jennie said smoothly, next to Samantha, putting her hand out to shake the man’s. Samantha continued to stare.

Close your mouth.

Well, at least the voice in her head wasn’t dumbstruck. That was always a positive.

On the negative side of the scale was the fact that Logan Stone had just heard her tirade against her boss’s taste in men.

“And, this is Samantha Page,” Jack said, gesturing to Sam as she forced her mouth to close. “She was going to be showing you guys the ropes and getting you settled in, but I think she’s got some complaints to lodge with HR over your qualifications,” Jack quipped and Sam found her mouth falling open once again.

He was joking about this? She’d called him sex-on-a-stick and he was joking?

Samantha closed her mouth and cleared her throat. “I’m good, Jack. No complaints here. I’ll just, um, I’ll get, um ….”

Oh, my hell. Stop babbling and say something—anything—moderately intelligible. Or burst into flames. Developing the ability to go up in flames right now would be handy.

“Hi,” the man of her dreams intoned, his deep voice washing over every atom of her body, stroking her in a way she’d felt only in her dreams. “It’s nice to meet you, Samantha.” He said the words, but kept his hands shoved in his pockets.

And, with that, in front of Jennie, her boss, and the man whose kids she hoped to have one day, Samantha Page opened her mouth and said, “Gah.”
Lori Ryan. The Billionaire’s Navy SEAL (Kindle Locations 92-181). Kindle Edition.

Jack and Samantha have been attracted to each other since his friend Zach’s wedding. They had never been introduced until today and I have to say a lot of there interactions had me giggling. Samantha has no filter at all and sometimes she actually says what she thinks is only a silent thought.

Logan doesn’t mind this at all and is trying to be professional when he really doesn’t want to be at all.

A phone call from a former teammate, has him on guard but it doesn’t concern his employment.

Samantha discovers some of Logan’s PTSI problems on the way to lunch one day and then starts bringing him lunch when she gets her own.

Then things start happening with Samantha, that don’t seem to be coincidences.

Plenty laughter and tears in this page-turning, suspenseful, steamy, romantic, action-packed book.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Lori.

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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The Billionaire Rocks – Sutton Billionaires Book 4 by Lori Ryan


The Billionaire’s Rock Star
Sutton Billionaires Book 4
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

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With her secrets about to come out and her career on the brink of disaster, she turns to the one man who might understand.

Pop star PJ Cantrell’s life and career are threatened when an angry blackmailer uncovers the truth about her hidden past. PJ knows it has to be someone close, someone she trusts. That makes the betrayal hurt all the more.

She turns to long-time friend Gabe Sawyer for help but finds more than she bargained for. As she quickly discovers she wants more from him than friendship and support, she has to wonder what he’ll think of her when he finally learns the truth about her past.

Gabe Sawyer is ready for a change. He’s built an empire in the hotel industry, but it’s time for him to find something to bring back the passion he once felt for his work. He’s tired of living in hotel suites, no matter how swanky the surroundings might be.

When PJ Cantrell shows up on his doorstep, she brings the wrong kind of passion his way. He’s left trying to bury the attraction he’s long felt for her because giving in to that is the last thing PJ needs.

NOTE:
Steamy romance meets heart-stopping suspense in the Sutton Billionaires Series. This is the fourth book in the series but it can be read as a standalone story with no cliffhangers. If you’d rather start at book one, grab The Billionaire Deal by Lori Ryan. A shorter version of this book was previously released as part of the Sutton Capital Series.

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PJ Cantrell has a very successful singing career, and has been touring since she was no more than a child. Now much older and she thought wiser, she is devastated to find her journal has been leaked to the press. As she leaves her car at the hotel she is swarmed by the press.

Gabe Sawyer has decided he’s done with his hotel chain and tells his friend Jack Sutton to put out feelers for a buyer. He’s not sure what he’s going to do next but he plans on going home for a while first. It’s not a coincidence that he’s at the hotel P.J. Cantrell is staying in when all hell breaks loose with Paparazzi. Gabe just happened to look down at the entrance from his terrace when it all starts to go down.

This is a favorite scene.

Gabe looked down on the front entrance of the hotel. The paparazzi were hawking the door. It was expected tonight with PJ arriving, but he hadn’t thought they’d see quite the number jockeying for position on the sidewalk outside the hotel.

What the hell? Three more of the vulture-like paps had just walked up.

Gabe grabbed his iPhone and punched PJ’s name into a search engine then scanned the top headlines…. He bit back a curse when the news flashed on the small screen and didn’t have to watch much of the video to know why the scumbags waited at the hotel entrance to get at her tonight.

Gabe couldn’t imagine why a man would be willing to walk away from PJ Cantrell. An asshat like Kurt Tolleson had never deserved her in the first place.

When Gabe asked PJ about it shortly after the breakup appeared in the news, she’d been good and ticked off. But this? Having the public see her humiliation…. She had to be reeling from this.

Movement on the street below pulled Gabe’s attention back to the front entrance and he watched as PJ’s car pulled up to the curb. The driver stayed in the car while one bodyguard stepped from the front of the car and opened the back door. Where the hell was her other bodyguard?

Gabe hoped to see him appear from the back, but no. Only PJ stepped out.

He couldn’t make out her face, but he knew it was her. Her coppery red mane of hair and petite body would register with him anywhere. Register and make him hard as a rock in an instant, though he’d learned how to control that reaction around her. They were friends and nothing more.

Gabe growled and went back inside, picking up the hotel phone that sat on a side table near the balcony doors. Whenever he stayed in one of his suites, his line was directly routed to the general manager of that location or to the manager-on-duty when the GM was out. He didn’t know who picked up and at the moment, he didn’t care.

“Get more security out front. PJ just arrived and she only has one bodyguard with her. Get our guys out there now,” he ordered before hanging up and going back outside.

He wanted to run down to her himself and stand between her and the world, but he wouldn’t make it down there in time.

As he watched, someone with a camera reached right past the useless man in a suit trying to block access to PJ. The camera man yanked PJ around as he held his camera up in her face, snapping off shots the whole time. It took her bodyguard too damn long to get the guy off her.

Gabe watched as his staff poured out the front doors and surrounded PJ, whisking her into the lobby and away from the crowd.

In only minutes PJ would step into the elevator. He hoped she remembered his invitation and headed to his tower instead of going up to her suite.

Two years ago, he’d told her if she was looking for privacy or a friend to talk to, she could come up to his penthouse when he was at the hotel at the same time she was—which was often. Over time, they talked more and more frequently because they were both night owls.

He hoped on a night like this, when she had to be feeling angry and hurt by the betrayal of her privacy, she’d come to him.

Shoving his keycard in his back pocket, he drew a shirt over his head before stepping out to the private elevator entrance. He knew within minutes she was on her way up. Only he, his secretary, and PJ had the key fob that would allow them to enter the penthouse elevator.

Gabe paced until the elevator chimed her arrival, and smiled slightly when PJ’s gaze fell on him immediately.

“Pru,” he breathed out, using her first name rather than the initials the world used to address her. She always laughed at him for that, but he liked her full name. Prudence Jane. No one other than her family used it any longer. When she’d been ‘discovered’ she had been using the nickname PJ and that was part of her branding to the world.

She blinked those long, sexy eyelashes his way and he saw she was fighting back tears.

“You saw?” she asked. He didn’t know if she was asking about the video or what had happened with the photographers down below, but he nodded.

“You holding up?” he asked, but he wanted to kick himself. He knew she’d say yes, even when it was clear she wasn’t okay.

“I’m okay,” she said but her teeth caught her bottom lip and he knew she was anything but okay.

He wanted to reach out and hold her, comfort her. But they’d never had that kind of relationship, though at times he felt so close to her it stunned him.

They had spent hours talking on the rooftops of his hotels, and it hadn’t been that long ago that Gabe had started to feel a lot more than friendship toward her. But Pru, so much younger than him, had never indicated she wanted more from him.

For whatever reason, Gabe Sawyer—a man who routinely dated models and actresses and other people in the spotlight—froze up a little when he got around Pru Cantrell. He was sure he came across as some stiff CEO, and he didn’t blame her for thinking that.

He was ten years older than her and was usually wearing a suit or a tux when he saw her. He glanced down at his jeans and bare feet and cringed. Well…until today.

“I just wasn’t really up to going to bed,” she said with a little laugh, and Gabe’s mind immediately filled with images of her in his bed. He pushed them aside as he always did when he was with her.

“Come inside?” Gabe asked, gesturing over his shoulder to the stairs that led to his suite. He’d never invited her in before. Would she think he was trying to take advantage? Or would she understand he just wanted to be there for her after the night she’d had? Gabe felt his heart kick as she nodded yes and followed him up the stairs.
Lori Ryan. ARC The Billionaire Rocks (Kindle Locations 155-203). Kindle Edition.

There is a slow build to this relationship as Gabe invites her to his home in Connecticut and enlists the help of the Sutton’s Security Team to solve the issue of the missing journal.

A very emotional tale unfolds as the heat builds in more ways than one. There is laughter and tears, leading to some sizzling romance.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

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.


newsletter - for blog


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

The Billionaire Op – The Sutton Billionaires Book 3 by Lori Ryan


The Billionaire Op
The Sutton Billionaires Book 3
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

A broken heart that never mended
and a man who would give anything
for the woman he loves—
even if it means suffering his own heartache.

Jennie Evans’ heart broke when she lost her high school sweetheart and husband just after college graduation. She’s found some semblance of a new life with good friends and a job she loves at Sutton Capital, but she knows she’ll never love again. That part of her died with Kyle.

Chad Thompson sees the heartache Jennie hides from the world. Despite the chemistry he and Jennie always fight against, he vows to keep their relationship friendly. Anything more would hurt Jennie, and Chad can’t bring himself to cause her more pain.

When their well-meaning friends throw Jennie and Chad together in a plot designed to push their comfort zone, she ends up in more danger than anyone could have foreseen. Chad knows he can protect her, but he isn’t able to protect his own heart in the process.

Steamy romance meets heart-stopping suspense in the Sutton Billionaires Series. This is the third book in the series but it can be read as a standalone story with no cliffhangers. If you’d rather start at book one, grab The Billionaire Deal by Lori Ryan. A shorter version of this book was previously released as part of the Sutton Capital Series.

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There is a definite attraction between Jennie and her boss Chad. He uses the excuse that she’s his employee as a boundary. One he would like to cross, but he’d seen the consequences of doing so.

His partners had also noticed this attraction. When one of Jack’s friends asks them to check out a couples resort before he makes the purchase, Jack and Andrew come up the perfect way to nudge this relationship.

A true test of will for Chad. This is a favorite scene.

Actually, if he thought about it, he could guess why she’d noticed the kayaks. Their bright colors. Jennie surrounded herself with bright, happy colors.

The outside of her house was a light cheerful yellow. He hadn’t been inside her house, though he’d dropped her off or picked her up a few times. But he would guess the inside would be filled with color as well. The kayaks were bright red and orange. She would like those colors.

“Come on,” Chad grinned at her. She looked adorable with goggles covering almost half her face. “Let’s go see some fish.”

They jumped in the water and lowered masked faces into the bay.

Before Chad knew what hit him, he heard a shriek and had an armful of sputtering Jennie. She quite literally climbed up him and was clinging to his shoulders, legs and arms clamped around him as high up as she could go. It would be funny to anyone watching.

Chad grinned, trying to ignore his body’s immediate response to her. He refused to acknowledge the fact that at that moment, the string bikini she wore was giving him access to parts of Jennie’s body he’d only ever dreamed of touching. His arms were under her ass, holding her up. The sensations produced by their wet skin were wreaking havoc on his senses, but she didn’t seem to be aware of that at all.

“Problem, Jen?”

She bit her lip and nodded her head.

“And that would be…?” Damn, she’s cute. On any other woman, this would seem like a coy ploy for his attention. With Jennie, it was real. She was well and truly freaked by something and he was more than happy to be her knight in shining armor. Especially when she wrapped her body around that armor.

“The fish,” Jennie said, eyes wide. “A fish touched my legs. It went right between my legs!”

He let a slow smile form. “I need to protect you from the fish?”

She nodded. “They’re huge. And scary. And kind of gross.”

They were pretty big. Some of them were one-and-a-half feet long and about as wide around the middle as Chad’s forearm. He had expected smaller fish, too. But seeing her so freaked out was pretty damned cute.

And holding her was pretty sexy. Really, really damned sexy, as a matter of fact. Chad lifted her up to the dock, then let his hands skim down to her thighs—pretending to be Jennie’s concerned husband did have its perks.

“Want me to hold you in the water and see if that makes you feel better?” Say yes. No, say no. This is a bad idea… But, please say yes.

Before Jennie could answer, a fish jumped out of the water and splashed back in. Chad assumed it was trying to catch a bug skimming the surface of the water. Jennie must have assumed it was an attempt to eat her, because she was up and running off the dock in a heartbeat. So much for Jack’s theory that Jennie Evans wasn’t afraid of anything.

Chad pulled himself out onto the dock, trying not to laugh too hard—and losing that battle. He scooped up their beach bag and towels. The items quickly became crucial parts of Chad’s ensemble as he followed Jennie back to the villa.

Watching the sway of her sweet ass as she hightailed it through the resort had his dick harder than he’d care to share with the other guests. With their belongings held casually in front of him to hide his predicament, he let himself enjoy the show. He’d have to shower with ice water when he got back to the villa, but it was worth it.
Jennie had the sexiest ass Chad had ever seen. That ass in a bikini?

Deadly.
Lori Ryan. The Billionaire Op ARC (Kindle Locations 773-802). Kindle Edition.

The two of them enjoy themselves immensely as they gather information. Only one thing doesn’t add up and this becomes a problem rather quickly.

Very emotional with suspense, hold your breath scenes, sexual tension, romance and so much more!

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

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

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.


newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Reuniting With The Billionaire – Sutton Billionaires Book 2 by Lori Ryan


Reuniting With The Billionaire
The Sutton Billionaires Book 2
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

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A woman who doesn’t trust love,
a man who doesn’t trust women.

Chief Financial Officer Andrew Weston and photographer Jill Walsh are the two most unlikely people to fall in love.

When Jill’s first husband left her, she knew she’d never again trust that love can last. The pain you go through when love dies isn’t something she’s willing to go through again.

After Andrew’s first love betrayed him in the most brutal way possible, he knows he might fall in love again someday, but there’s no way he’ll ever make himself vulnerable to another woman by confessing those feelings.

When Andrew discovers his love for Jill, he knows the only way to get her to stay with him forever is to offer her an iron clad penalty clause in a prenuptial agreement. He contracts to stay with her forever or he loses everything he owns. The millions he’s worked for, his property, his cars, everything. Now he just needs to hope that’s enough to hold onto Jill forever.

Note:
Steamy romance meets heart-stopping suspense in the Sutton Billionaires Series. This is the second book in the series but it can be read as a standalone story with no cliffhangers. If you’d rather start at book one, grab The Billionaire Deal by Lori Ryan. A shorter version of this book was previously released as part of the Sutton Capital Series.

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Andrew Weston doesn’t hesitate to run to his grandmother’s side when she’s hospitalized with a broken him.  Both Nora, his grandmother and her housekeeper and friend Lydia are getting up in age and now Andrew feels guilty. He feels he should have insisted on more help for her. With that in mind, he moves into the guest house on the property to oversee some changes and her rehab.

Jill Walsh has just gone through a divorce, her now ex cheated on her and wanted out of the marriage. Yet he is still calling, coming over and in general being a nuisance. Jill is moving into her grandparents home until she figures out where her life is heading now.

Once Andrew’s grandmother is home, that little tidbit of information that Jillie as he once called her, is now their neighbor sparks an interest. Andrew had a crush on her when he was younger, but she was a bit older than him and barely gave him a second glance.

He really does need to welcome her back to the neighborhood if for nothing other than to satisfy his curiosity about her.

This is a favorite scene.

The snow had just dusted the ground and was already melting away in the mid-morning sun. Andrew was treated to another sight that was more welcoming than snow.

Jill Walsh was back in her grandparents’ backyard. He watched as she stretched up toward a tree limb. She hung what looked like a saltlick in a small metal frame mounted on the tree. Jill’s dog ran in circles around her as she walked across the huge backyard toward another tree. Andrew could make out one of the metal frames on that tree as well.

He laughed to himself as he watched her. Most people thought of the deer as pests that ate the flowers and shrubs. Jill was encouraging them to come visit her.

What the hell? Might as well go say hey to pretty Jillie Walsh.

He drew a pair of threadbare jeans up over his hips and tossed a well-worn Yale sweatshirt over his t-shirt. Shoved his feet into a pair of duck boots and trotted downstairs without bothering to tie the laces of the boots. His grandmother’s yard connected with the Walsh’s by a fence in the main areas, but toward the back, where the yards became more wooded, the fence ended and the two yards were open to one another. Andrew trotted around the back end of the fence and headed toward Jill.

Before he reached her, he was greeted by Jill’s dog, who ran up to Andrew as if the two of them were old friends. The dog jumped up with both paws on Andrew’s chest to land kisses on his face.

“Hey, boy,” Andrew said. He buried his hands in the curly fur to give the dog a good scratch before heading toward Jill.

Jill was headed back toward the house so Andrew called out to her as he fell into an easy jog. “Jill! Welcome back.”

He watched as she turned toward him and squinted against the glare of the morning sun. She hesitated before returning his greeting. The dog ran back and forth between Jill and Andrew, bouncing as if he couldn’t wait for them to meet up in the middle.

“Andrew? Wow, is that really you?”

“Yeah. I heard you were back in town. Saw you out here and thought I’d say hi before breakfast,” Andrew explained as he approached her.

Jill let out a laugh. “Breakfast? It’s almost ten thirty. You’re just having breakfast?”

Andrew shrugged. “I’ve been sleeping in lately.” He had no problem getting up at six o’clock on days he went to the office, but easily reverted to sleeping later on weekends and vacations when he felt like it.

Jill tilted her head and studied him. “You’re living at your grandmother’s?”

“Uh, just for a while,” he said vaguely, not sure if Nora would want him to mention her hip. Nora was proud and might not want everyone to know how much help she needed right now. “I’m taking a leave of absence from work for a while.”

“Um, I was just going to make some hot chocolate.” She gestured over her shoulder toward the house. “Do you want some?”

“Sure.”

Andrew eyed Jill sideways as they walked toward the house together. He couldn’t believe how incredible she looked with her cheeks all red from the cold and her hair tangled up around the collar of her coat. Andrew was dying to see what she looked like when all the layers of winter clothing were stripped off.

Most of the women he dated wore ridiculously tiny coats and gloves made for fashion, not warmth. Jill was bundled up in an old, bulky ski jacket and still looked better than any of those women.

She had very little makeup on, but her eyes sparkled and Andrew found he couldn’t look away from them as the two of them talked. Jill Walsh still had the same appeal, and he still responded. More so now as a man who’d experienced women than he had as a fifteen-year-old boy with only his imagination to fuel him.

He shook off his thoughts. She was his grandmother’s neighbor and Andrew knew his grandmother was still friends with Jill’s grandparents. In his book, that meant she was off limits. He didn’t date women that close to home.

Jill opened the door and stomped the snow off her boots. He watched with interest as she stripped off her coat and crossed to the stove to turn on a burner. Yup. Incredible body, just like he figured. Damn, what a waste. Why did the woman who was so strictly off limits have to be so damn gorgeous?

“Nora said you’re a photographer now,” Andrew’s voice was husky. He tried to control his response and pulled his boots off before grabbing a stool at the kitchen island.

“Mmm hmm. It started out as mostly a hobby but now I’m trying to make it work fulltime.”

“What do you photograph? Do you do portraits and things or…?” His voice trailed off and his gaze moved to Jill’s slender fingers as she added marshmallows to a mug of steaming hot chocolate and handed it to him.

How the hell can fingers be sexy?
Lori Ryan. Reuniting with the Billionaire ARC (Kindle Locations 268-308). Kindle Edition.

This is a fun read that takes us through a courtship that wasn’t supposed to happen.

There’s also an interesting twist or two that develops from Andrew’s office and of course there’s Jillie’s ex.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, apparently this is one I started then somehow skipped to the middle. I’m glad I’m reading the new extended versions of these books.

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

Coming Soon!

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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Amazon Author Page

The Billionaire Deal – The Sutton Billionaires Book 1 By Lori Ryan


The Billionaire Deal
The Sutton Billionaires Book 1
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

He needed a wife on paper,
she needed a way to pay for school.
Neither bargained for the danger
their marriage-of-convenience brought on.

CEO Jack Sutton isn’t about to be backed into a corner by the stipulations of his mother’s will. She might have wanted to be sure he was married by the time he was thirty, but that doesn’t mean he needs to give in. As the head of a powerful venture capital firm, there’s one thing he’s learned. There’s always a way around anything standing in his way. This marriage clause is no exception.

Kelly Bradley got into the law school of her dreams, but the financial aid she was counting on didn’t come through. When she finds out Jack Sutton is looking for a wife in name only, she propositions him to get the funding she needs. What could be the harm in linking herself to a well-respected businessman for a year? It’s not like he’s hard to look at or tough to be around.

But will her fix end up costing a whole lot more than either she or Jack had bargained for? When her life is on the line, Jack finds himself racing to save the woman he’s fast losing his heart to.

Steamy romance meets heart-stopping suspense in the Sutton Billionaires Series. This is the first book in the series but it can be read as a standalone story with no cliffhangers. A shorter version of this book was previously released as Legal Ease, part of the Sutton Capital Series.

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Lori Ryan is redoing the beginning of the Sutton Capitol Series adding more to a book and a series I love.

This first book is Jack Sutton, he’s a control freak about to lose his empire because of a stipulation in his mother’s will. He needs to be married by his thirty fifth birthday or he loses control of his company to his aunt.

An overheard conversation leads to a solution, but Jack has no idea it’s about to happen, the ensuing meeting with his aunt, cousin Cole and his ‘fiancé’ blindsides him and had me giggling the whole time.

This is a favorite scene.

Kelly arrived at Jack Sutton’s office a few minutes before three o’clock as she and Jennie had planned. She had run home to print up the marriage license application from the New Haven Office of Vital Statistics website, shower, and dress in black wool slacks and a fitted ivory cashmere sweater.

She left her hair down drying it with a roller brush so it lay in soft waves on her shoulders and went with light makeup she hoped like hell looked classy. Jack Sutton was probably used to classy.

The butterflies in her stomach seemed like they were dancing some sort of coordinated Macarena dance or something. It wasn’t pretty.

When Jennie saw Kelly step off the elevator her jaw dropped. “I can’t believe you’re going through with this. By the time I got back to the office, I was sure you’d chicken out.”

Kelly squared her shoulders and stood up to her full height. Not that she was tall at five four, but it made her feel better. “I’m not going to second-guess myself on this. If I keep moving without stopping too long to think about it, I can go through with it, so get me in there.”

Jennie raised an eyebrow and Kelly knew she’d owe her friend big time. The scene about to play out would essentially put Jennie’s job on the line. By getting Kelly in there, she’d be revealing she had spied on Jack. She had a week left in the temporary placement. With this move, she would most likely lose not only this placement, but any chance of getting a new placement through the temp agency as well.

So yeah, Kelly was going to owe her and then some. But Jennie had told her she was okay with that and Kelly believed her. Jennie got bored staying in one job for too long. She’d bounce back.

“Well, you may be off your rocker, but at least you look good. Jack’s Aunt Mabry and his cousin Chad are already in the office. They’ve only been in there for a minute, though,” said Jennie.

“Here goes nothing.” She took a deep breath and waited for Jennie to announce her.

With a huge grin on her face, Jennie pushed the intercom button on her phone and calmly spoke into the speaker. “Sir, your fiancée has arrived. Shall I show her in?”

Jack sat in his office with his aunt and cousin and wondered how the hell to explain that there was no fiancée. Andrew had sent a text at two o’clock saying he hadn’t found out anything more, but he was working on something. He just didn’t say what, so Jack had no idea if he should stall or just come clean.

He had actually been desperate enough to start calling some of the women he’d dated in the last year or so. He wasn’t exactly a ruthless player, although the tabloids tried to make it look like he was. Sure, he got around, had a few dates a month and slept with some of them, but those women all seemed shallow and fake to Jack.

Two of them didn’t answer the phone, one was gushing about her new husband and another had moved to London when she was offered a modeling deal with a European agency. That was as far as he got in his little black book before his aunt arrived— twenty minutes early. It seemed Chad had been with Mabry this morning because they arrived together and now they both sat, mother and son, looking expectantly at him.

“We’re here to meet Jack’s fiancée,” a smug-looking Mabry announced to Chad. Jack watched a bemused expression come over his cousin’s face.

Chad had to be wondering what the hell was going on. He and Jack were close. They were more like brothers than cousins, so if he were getting married, Chad would have been the first to know.

I’m never gonna’ hear the end of this from him.

So there they sat, waiting for an introduction to a fiancée that Jack had never mentioned; a fiancée Chad had never set eyes on.

Jack leaned forward in his chair, took a deep breath and prepared to tell his aunt there was no fiancée.

Or maybe he should see if he could get Chad out of the room first so he didn’t have to have this confrontation in front of his cousin.

Just then his secretary’s voice cut in, and he could swear he heard her say his fiancée was here.

Jack’s experience in business had taught him to school his expressions and hide his thoughts from those around him, and though he wanted to whip around and grab the phone, he didn’t. He quickly hid all emotion from his face as he listened to his secretary.

“Sir, did you hear me? Mr. Sutton? Your fiancée has arrived. Shall I show her in?” Jennie spoke again.

Andrew. Andrew must have sent him a fiancée. How in the hell had Andrew found him a fiancée? Really, how does one go about that, Jack thought.

Oh hell. He scrubbed his hand over his face as a possibility hit him. What if Andrew sent him a prostitute?

Jack stood and went to his desk, hitting the button on his phone to engage the intercom. “Uh, yes, send her in, please.” Jack forced the words out as his mind raced through the possible scenarios.

Jennie opened the door to his office and stepped aside and a dark-haired woman swept into the room as if she owned the place. She glided over to him, brushed a light kiss on his cheek, and casually handed him a stack of papers.

The soft scent of some kind of flower threw him off his game.

“Hello, sweetheart,” the stranger said to Jack before turning to his aunt and Chad. “You must be Jack’s Aunt Mabry and his cousin. He’s told me so much about you. I’m Kelly Bradley.”

She took the hand of a very stunned looking Aunt Mabry and pumped it before she turned to Chad, whose amusement had turned to confused surprise. Kelly shook his hand as well.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Chad said, but it came out more as a question than a statement. “I don’t know where Jack’s been hiding you,” Chad said with a huge grin on his face.

Jack was too busy trying to figure out who had just walked into his office… and what she was doing, to respond to Chad’s dig. This Kelly person had walked in as though she belonged there. As though she and Jack had the kind of intimate, close relationship that lets a woman waltz into a private family meeting and announce herself rather than wait to be invited and introduced.

Whoever she was, she was beautiful. Her hair was a deep chestnut color, and it fell down her back in loose waves over the soft ivory cashmere of her sweater. She had incredible, bright blue eyes and a light complexion with a sprinkling of freckles across her cheeks and nose. Her snug sweater showed off a soft, curvy figure that begged to be held.

Wherever Andrew had found her, he had done well. She was exquisite.

Jack tore his eyes off her and skimmed the papers in his hand while she stood chatting with his aunt and cousin as if nothing were out of the ordinary.

The papers appeared to be an application for a marriage license for the State of Connecticut. There was a yellow sticky note on the top page that said: One year of marriage for $ 154,000.

He quickly tucked the note in his pocket as his mind flew over possibilities.

Andrew had found him a wife for $ 154,000.

What the hell?

Had Andrew hired a woman from a call girl service? Asked some girl off the street?

As he did in all of his deals, Jack quickly scanned all potential scenarios in his head. He assessed and evaluated the merits or drawbacks of each. Obviously, if she were a call girl, the drawbacks were significant.

He was woefully uninformed, and that wasn’t a position he was used to being in.

What the hell should he do? He had no idea who this woman was, but he didn’t have a choice if he wanted to continue to head up the company his father had built. The company Jack had expanded and come to love. Now, he stood stiffly in his office as his head reeled from the sudden proposition in front of him…

Reason kicked in; he had to trust that Andrew wouldn’t have sent a hooker or someone he didn’t know. Could Andrew have found a willing friend of his? Or maybe an ex-girlfriend? How much would that suck? To marry one of his best friend’s exes and pay her to do it on top of that?

Jack hadn’t felt so off balance in his life. He suddenly realized that his supposed fiancée was talking to him.

“Jack? Honey, I need to know if you can make it to the courthouse to apply for the marriage license tomorrow? We both have to be there to get it. Does that work for you?” Kelly asked, indicating the papers in his hand.

“Uh, yes. Yeah, that works for me.”

Jack spit the words out through the haze in his head and turned to smile at his aunt and cousin. No matter what Chad’s relationship with Bryan Barton was, it looked as if Jack had just committed himself to a year of marriage with a stranger.
Lori Ryan. The Billionaire Deal: The Sutton Billionaire Series, Book 1 (Kindle Locations 384-455).

Oh the tangled web that entwines these two.

Kelly just wants law school paid for, and Jack needs a wife. Neither of them expect to fall in love.

This is an enthralling tale with plenty of suspense, drama, laughs, tears and sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

Coming Soon!

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.


newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

According to Plan – Sutton Capitol Book 8 by Lori Ryan


According To Plan
Sutton Capitol Book 8
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

He can’t trust the people who should have his back…

Pressured by his boss to connect with his new team, the last thing Kaeden O’Shea needs is a woman in the way—one who clearly has something to hide. But his instincts have him on high alert and he can’t shake the idea that he needs to ride to her rescue.

Running, hiding, and planting misleading clues means Joy Wilson doesn’t dare let anyone get close. Not even the man who tempts her at every turn…because there’s too much at stake. Too much she has to protect.

Two missions collide, and all bets are off.

Kaeden tends to micro-manage everything he doesn’t do himself. Now his boss hands him the planning of the company retreat and team-building. Most of the work has already been done, but he has an on site liaison and two Hospitality interns to handle the running. Of course he thinks he has everything covered.

Joy is his liaison with the hotel and she gets a kick out of his trying to run the show. Kaeden doesn’t handle any twists or changes well, but somehow Joy manages to get under his skin. She has secrets and he wants to help her, but first he has to gain her trust.

I loved this book, Kaeden goes through so much growth and the relationship he starts with Joy is both sizzling and sweet.

Lots of giggles, plenty of fun, some action plus a sizzling romance.

The excerpt below is a favorite scene, don’t forget to read it.

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

Joy watched the group unload outside Crepes a la Carte and was glad when none of them looked put out by the long line that was already halfway down the block. The place was actually a cart not a restaurant, though they did have a small store front option on the other side of the street. She’d already told some of them they might want to cut through the alley that led to the storefront to see if there was a shorter line there, but they all seemed happy to get into line at the cart.

She saw Mia who she’d met earlier that morning talking to a woman she hadn’t met yet but thought was named Sarah if she went by process of elimination and the list of people she’d been given by her boss.

She was beginning to learn which kids went with which parents but it wasn’t easy. They all seemed like they parented each other’s kids as easily as they did their own, making it all the more confusing.

Jack’s auburn-haired wife, Kelly, smiled at Kaeden. “Crepes were a great idea. You’re not bad at this trip planning thing.”

Joy stifled a laugh as Kaeden glanced her way before brushing off the compliment and telling Kelly it had been Joy’s suggestion.

Kelly beamed her way. “Any fan of crepes is a friend of mine.”

Jack, Andrew, and Chad came up to the group just then and Joy’s recollection of Jack being Kelly’s husband was confirmed when he kissed her temple.

“Kel, it looks like there’s a small park a couple of blocks down the street. We’re going to take the kids down there while you guys wait in line. If you don’t mind waiting?”

Kelly sent him a look that said he was crazy. “Do I mind getting to hang with my girlfriends in line while you take the kids off our hands?”

Jack laughed and squeezed her close for a minute, dropping another kiss to her cheek before he and the others began herding the kids toward the park.

Kaeden watched them go. “Don’t you need to get their orders?”

Now Kelly directed her look toward him. “The kids will take anything sweet and the men will take anything so long as it’s food. Besides, crepes. There’s no way to go wrong with them. At all.”

Joy had to try to cover her mouth with her hand in a half-assed casual way to suppress her laugh now. Kaeden just didn’t get crepes, but clearly the women in front of him did. There was the blonde Joy thought was Jill and another blonde she thought was Jennie, but it was entirely possible she was switching the two. She had only met them that morning.

“Tell me you’ve had crepes.” That was maybe-Jill talking, hands on her hips as she looked at Kaeden.

Maybe-Jennie joined in. “Crepes are ah-may-zing. Gooey and light and perfect. The reviews for this place say they’re incredible.” She put a hand on her stomach as they inched forward in the line. “My stomach is going to revolt if I don’t give it one soon.”

Samantha walked up to the group and nudged maybe-Jill. “Men never get the draw of a good crepe until they’ve had one. It’s just above their heads.”

Kaeden snorted and all the women swung their heads comically in his direction. Joy lost the ability to hold in her laughter. She couldn’t help it.

He pointed in her direction. “No I-told-you-sos. I get it. They like crepes.”

“Love,” the women said in unison.

Kelly said, “Like luuuuv love.”

The women ended up chatting together while they all moved up in line and Kaeden and Joy were left paired together while the line crept forward.

She tried to ignore the fact that to keep half the sidewalk clear for pedestrians he was standing close enough to her that their arms were almost brushing. Close enough to feel that heat of anticipation at the almost contact.

“You look like you’re not going to hold it in.”

Joy shook her head. “What? The I-told-you-so? It’s staying in me just fine.” She could only grin at him as he scowled at her and Joy realized how good it felt to laugh, to be playful. And how surprising it was that it was happening with this man.

She hadn’t had this kind of laughter in a while and she wouldn’t have it again for a long time. Not when she had to move on soon. There would be nothing but strain and unease and the insecurity of trying to find a new situation for at least a month or two. She remembered when she thought her job at a tech firm was stressful. It was nothing compared to living in a car or a seedy motel and wondering if you’d be safe through the night.

None of the places she’d holed up in the last two years had been like this and she doubted wherever she went to next would be either.

Kaeden cut into her bleak thoughts. “So what kind should I get?”

They were getting closer to the front of the line now and Joy looked at the sign with the list of options. “The monte cristo and the lemon souffle are my favorites. Strawberry shortcake is really good too, though. But the women were right. You can’t go wrong with any of them.”

Samantha shouted back an “amen” to Joy before stepping up to place her order.

Kaeden laughed but he nodded. “Alright, I’ll get those ones.”

“What do you mean, those ones? I was giving you choices not a list. You can’t eat three crepes.”

His brows went up. “I thought these things were gold. Why wouldn’t I eat three of them?”

“They’re big.”

“And?”

Twenty minutes later Joy was still shaking her head at him but now it was because she was watching him take the last bite of his third crepe.

“So you liked them?” she asked.

“I think the word you’re looking for is luuuuuuv,” he said drawing the word out like Kelly had.

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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.


newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Game Clincher – Triple Play Book 3 By Lori Ryan



Game Clincher
Triple Play Curse Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

After two of his teammates fall prey to the curse, Gage Collier realizes he’s got worse things to worry about than the power of the curse alone. He’s got his mother to fear, and the woman is on a mission. When a columnist spills the beans that the curse is in play and there’s only one victim left to be had, Gage’s mother spins a web designed to trap him into being its third victim and give her the grandbabies she’s been wanting. Though the bait she sets is tempting, Gage has no interest in falling in love. With his mother strategizing against him, Gage probably doesn’t stand a chance, but he’ll go down fighting before he takes this hit.

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The Triple Play Curse has taken down two players, they are happily committed and in love. No one wants to be the next to fall, but Gage’s mother has other ideas.

She comes up with an ingenious scheme to set up Gage, I have to admit it was the perfect setup. Her friend Lucia cleans houses for a living and has a daughter who fills in for her from time to time.

The idea is for Lucia to get the job cleaning her son’s home, then pretend an injury so her daughter will fill in.

Getting the job was easy since all the other interviews were with twenty-somethings that only want a chance at snagging Gage. Since Lucia is an older woman, Gage took that bait, hook, line and sinker.

This is a favorite scene when Lucia’s daughter Talia takes over.

Gage finished his last lap and pulled himself up and out of the pool before toweling off. He’d always looked forward to the end of his morning workouts, but never more than he did nowadays.

Four days a week, he could walk to his kitchen and find breakfast ready and waiting for him when he got there. He hadn’t asked for it. Lucia just seemed to pick up on his needs. Within a day or two, she had figured out he always finished working out at ten thirty, and she had a scrambled egg white omelet ready for him. She would always throw in a different mixture of vegetables and top it with her homemade salsa. She’d also have a big plate of fresh cut fruit for him.

But, what he loved the most, was the way his house smelled when she was there. She would cook a big meal for him every morning that he’d devour when he got home later that night from the baseball field.

The mouthwatering smell of some kind of mixture of chicken and rice or enchiladas wafted through the condo to him now, drawing him to the kitchen before he’d even thrown a t-shirt t-shirt on. Hell, she’d outdone herself today. He didn’t know what he’d find on the stove, but he did know he’d have a hard time resisting the temptation to dig into it now instead of after the game. It wasn’t unusual for Lucia to have to beat him back from the stove with one of the wooden spoons she’d stocked his kitchen with when she discovered how little he had in the way of pots and pans and utensils.

Gage looped his towel around his neck and called out to Lucia.

“Hey, beautiful, what are you trying to do to me? Make me gain twenty pounds this season? I won’t be able to move if you keep this up.”

But it wasn’t Lucia who came out of his bedroom with his dirty laundry in her arms. It was a … hell, he didn’t know what she was. A goddess, at the very least. Her laugh matched Lucia’s to a tee, and her long black hair and fiery eyes were almost identical as well. But, she was younger and had a body that screamed out to him. Gage took a step back as she came into the kitchen. His hands felt like magnets, just pulling him in, begging him to take ahold of those round hips of hers and yank her body in close, tight against his.

She just smiled at him, her eyes sparkling with humor, seemingly unaware of the effect she had on him.

“You call my mother beautiful?” She put the laundry basket down on one of the counters and cocked her head at him.

“Your mother?” he echoed, stupidly. She raised a brow, then laughed again.

“My mother. Lucia?”

“Your mother?” he asked, yet again, not because he didn’t understand by now that this woman was Lucia’s daughter, but because his mind seemed to be stuck on repeat. Like a skipping record.

She was laughing as she shook her head, and reached for the plate with his omelet and fruit to hand to him, but he didn’t miss the puzzled look she gave him.

“You’re Talia?” he asked, finally, breaking loose of the hold she’d had on him and reaching for the plate. Lucia hadn’t told him much about Talia. She was Lucia’s only daughter, that much he knew. That was about the extent of it.

“You can’t be here,” he said now, still not touching his omelet.

That stopped her smile. “What?”

“Your mom is supposed to be here. Where is she?”

Now suspicion clouded her gaze and he felt like a jerk. Again. No, not again. Still. It hadn’t stopped. Because he’d been a jerk from the minute he’d seen Talia. She wore a long skirt that flowed loosely down around her ankles, taunting him. It seemed to dare him to find out what was hidden underneath. Her snug fitting shirt accentuated her full breasts, the only thing that had drawn his eyes away from those magical hips as they spoke.

“She hurt her back,” she said, cold now, all trace of her previous humor gone. “I’ll be filling in for her for the next couple of weeks. The doctor said she needs to take it easy for two weeks, or she might end up needing surgery and physical therapy.”

And, now he felt lower than low. “Is she okay? What happened? Was she in an accident?”

He thought he saw a flicker of softness cross her face again, but then she erased it, as though she wasn’t quite ready to forgive him yet. He didn’t blame her.

“Does she need anything?” Gage asked.

“No. My stepfather is taking care of her. She just needs to rest, so you’re stuck with me for two weeks.”

And, with that, she spun on her foot, balancing the laundry basket on her hip again, and exited the room.

Gage was left drooling, and wondering how in the heck he would get through the next two weeks without giving in to the walking, talking spitfire of temptation that was Talia Aguilar.
Lori Ryan. Game Clincher: A Triple Play Curse Novella, Book 3 (Kindle Locations 126-163).

In spite of all their best intentions, these two fall hard and fast for each other. So much so that they both retreat.

Lots of fun, laughter and a few tears as the curse comes to fruition.

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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.


newsletter - for blog


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

 

Game Maker – Triple Play Curse Book 2 By Lori Ryan



Game Maker
Triple Play Curse Book 2
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Lori Ryan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Every member of the Strikers, San Francisco’s professional baseball team, knows about the Triple Play Curse. When one Striker falls in love and gets either married or engaged during the season, two more will fall for a total of three. And, whenever the curse is in play, the team suffers for it. More errors and injuries, lost pennant runs, you name it. No one wants to trigger the curse.

Pitcher Aiden Kyle knows the Triple Play Curse has the ability to mess with his life and with his team’s performance. And, now that the curse has been triggered, Aiden also knows he has to do all he can to avoid being its next victim. And that means strippers and hand lotion in the shower for the rest of the season for him. Until Lily Dupree whirls into his world with a crash that puts a kink in his plan. If Aiden can find a way to help Lily and get her out of his life, he just might avoid being the next victim of the curse.

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Now that Rafe has initiated ‘The Curse’ the team is wondering who will fall next. Aiden wants to be sure it isn’t him and decides no dating at all.

Lily is a nutritionist with a financial problem. She’s working at a Strip Club as a waitress for a few months to straighten everything out. Known for being a bit of a klutz she is having difficulty carrying the trays the way the establishment requires. Straight armed over her head is just disaster waiting to happen. However that is how she meets Aiden.

This is a favorite scene.

Only two more steps, she whispered under her breath. One more. She could feel the glasses begin to slide on top of the tray. She tilted her wrist to the left to compensate and knew almost immediately that it was too much. Too far. She tilted back the other way, trying to regain the balance, but the tray was hopelessly unsteady at that point. Her eyes caught on Katie’s from across the room just as the tray, the glasses, and all of the liquor in those glasses, came tumbling down.

Lily closed her eyes, knowing where those drinks were falling. Right on top of the guests sitting at table nineteen. A table of three men she’d been told were from the San Francisco Strikers. Players who often came in to relax after a game, ran up big tabs, and left generous tips. And one of them, a very tall, very strong looking, Greek god of a man, was now looking up at her from beneath his very wet hair.

“Oh, shoot!” she whispered as she saw her manager making a beeline for her, the jowls under his chin wobbling in anger as he worked up a good froth around his mouth.

Lily turned to the player, now mopping his face with a napkin. “I’m so, so sorry, sir.”

She didn’t get out another word before Donny was on her, jowls and all.

“That’s it, girlie. You’re out of here. I never should have even let you come in today. I knew yesterday, you were too damned much trouble to keep around. Klutzy as all get out and not much to look at,” he said, loud enough for everyone around them to hear, even with the booming music.

“Hey, buddy,” came from the sexy voice of the god she’d dropped all her drinks on. He rose to his full height and, oh my, it was an impressive height. “That’s no way to talk to a lady. And, besides, she’s a hell of a lot to look at.”

The big guy grinned down at her, and she was torn between being offended and the thrill his assessment gave her. But, she didn’t have time to analyze that. She was busy being fired. She did take the time to notice Donny’s sudden concern for the guest’s opinion, though. He turned to the big guy and began the kowtowing routine she’d seen him use on others.

“We’ll pay for your dry cleaning, sir. I’m so sorry. She won’t be a bother again. She won’t be working here anymore.”

The big guy laughed. “Dry cleaning?” He looked down at his clothes. “I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I doubt I’ll need dry cleaning. And, you’re not listening to me. I don’t want her to be fired. I want you>/em> to treat her with a little more respect. In fact, if she leaves, so do we.” He looked over his shoulder at his friends, who all shrugged their shoulders and nodded, clearly ready to follow his lead if that’s what he thought they should do.

“Now, Mr. Kyle,” Donny started and it dawned on Lily. The big guy was Aiden Kyle. The Aiden Kyle of the San Francisco Strikers. She didn’t follow baseball, but everyone who lived in the area would recognize the name and maybe even the face. Oh, that face. The mocha brown eyes and square jaw with a bit of stubble, framed by short-cropped brown hair. She wanted to stare at that face a bit longer, but the confrontation between he and Donny continued, pulling her attention.

Aiden Kyle raised a brow at Donny, crossed his arms over his extraordinary— truly, truly extraordinary— chest and stared him down. It didn’t take long for Donny to cave. Before she knew what happened, he was apologizing to her and telling her to try carrying the tray in front of her instead of over her head, then shooing her away without giving her a chance to apologize to Mr. Kyle again. Lily met Katie back at the waitress station and watched Donny fawn over the baseball players, before turning to her friend.

“I’m so sorry, Katie. I have a feeling I’m gonna cause a lot more trouble for you than you’d planned when you got me this job.”

“Nonsense, honey,” said Katie, giving her a hug. “I believe in you and your business. This is the only way you’ll make enough money fast enough to save it. You’re living my dream, girl. You’re making your own life, building it up just the way you want it. I’ll be stuck slinging drinks for pervs forever. But not you, kid.”

They watched as Donny went back to his perch at the side of the stage.

“Besides,” Katie grinned at Lily, “I think you have a fan.
Lori Ryan. Game Maker: A Triple Play Curse Novella, Book 2 (Kindle Locations 69-102).

To be sure she doesn’t get fired anyway, Aiden goes to the club every night after the game. Realizing he couldn’t keep that up, he has a conversation with her as to why she’s working there and makes a startling discovery. He can help her get out of that place very simply by asking a few favors of his team, getting her more business. Of course staying away from her was harder than he thought, she had gotten under his skin.

I loved the slow build of this relationship, and I laughed at some of the antics. This book was romantic, fun and eventually sizzling.

5 Contented Purrs for Lori!

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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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