Tag Archives: @melissamcclone

The Groom – A Keeper Book 1 By Melissa McClone


The Groom
A Keeper Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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He broke her heart on national television, but can they team up to win a million dollars?

Falling in love with Jace Westfall on The Groom was never part of Millie Kincaid’s plans. However, she’s learned a valuable lesson about trusting handsome men—don’t! She returns to her teaching job to forget the devastating rejection. But her school needs money, so when Millie receives an offer to be on another reality TV show, she can’t refuse.

Hurting the sweet and shy Millie was the last thing Jace wanted to do, but he had his reasons. Too bad going from being the fans’ beloved hero to the world’s worst villain cost him endorsements. Now, he’s on the verge of losing everything. To save his floundering business and family who rely on him for support, Jace agrees to do another reality show.

Forced together, Millie and Jace race from country to country. Their only goal—to win. As cameras capture their every move, one thing becomes clear: Money isn’t the only thing at stake. Now, they must overcome their past to win not only the prize but maybe each other’s heart, too. Will they cross the finish line as a couple, or will they end the race alone?

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Millie was heartbroken when ‘The Groom’ ended and Jace picked Desiree, In spite of all the offers she received after that debacle she wasn’t tempted take any. Until this one, ‘Cash Around the Globe offered something she really wanted, thirty days without her phone, without people asking how she was doing all while traveling the globe. Any money she wins she would donate to her school to help offset budget cuts affecting her students.

Millie was feeling confident and excited as the race begins, but of course the show has a major twist.

This is a favorite scene.

Ten feet from her blue backpack, she noticed a round zippered pouch with a globe imprinted on the front. Inside, she found fifty dollars, a small key on a chain, and a clue card.

“Make your way to Coit Tower,” Millie read for the camera’s sake. “You must travel via public transportation. Look for the green and blue flag. There you will find your next clue and something to take with you on the race.”

Take with her?

Her excitement swelled. A GPS unit would be great. Useful.

Millie reread the clue.

“Coit Tower?” She’d never been to San Francisco but had heard of the landmark. Heart pounding, she surveyed the surrounding buildings. High-end department stores, boutiques, and hotels. She saw a uniformed security guard and ran to him. “Could you please tell me where to catch the bus to Coit Tower?”

The guard led her to the bus stop. “Take the 30 or 45. Grab a transfer ticket when you board. Get off at Washington Square. Take the 39 to the top of Telegraph Hill. You can walk, if you’d rather, but it’s a steep climb.”

“Thank you,” she said as the 30 bus pulled to the curb with a squeal of brakes.

The bus passed through Chinatown and North Beach, also known as Little Italy. At Washington Square, she transferred to bus number 39 and rode to the top of Telegraph Hill. She exited. The camera crew followed her.

Tourists milled about the base of Coit Tower, snapping pictures. Not even the overcast skies detracted from the lovely view. Millie searched for a flag but came up empty. She hurried up the steps to the tower’s entrance.

Inside the circular lobby, she found colorful murals but no clue box. That meant she had to go up. Millie disliked— okay, hated— heights, but that didn’t stop her from purchasing three tickets from the gift store. With the camera crew and two students from Brazil, she crammed into a small elevator.

At the top, the doors opened. Everyone spilled out.

She climbed a winding staircase to the upper viewing area. A breathtaking panoramic view of jutting skyscrapers greeted her through arched windows, but she stayed far away from the edge.

For a moment, she felt very much like a small-town girl in the big city. And then Millie remembered… the race. Self-preservation kicked in. She located a blue and green banner flapping in the breeze.

“There’s the clue box.” A lock, however, kept her from opening it. “Good thing I have a key.”

Millie stuck her key in the hole, but the lock wouldn’t open. She tried again. “Why isn’t this working?”

She peered closer. “Two holes.”

Millie inserted her key in the other hole. No luck.

Fear pulsed through her veins. If she couldn’t open the box to get a clue, she would be eliminated. Over her dead body.

Leaving the key in the lock, she examined the clue box. “What am I missing?”

“This,” a male voice said from behind her.

She turned. A dangling silver key caught her attention. Millie focused on the man holding it.

Jace Westfall.

The air rushed from her lungs.

No. He couldn’t be here. With her. Now.

Millie felt wobbly, off-kilter, as if she were standing on the top of a mountain or a tall tower which she was. She struggled to breathe but managed only a few gasps.

Falling.

That was all she could think about.

She was going to fall.

Fail.

Again.

Millie thought she had prepared for everything. But not for this.

For him.

“What are you doing here?” Her voice sounded ragged. Well, she felt ragged. But losing control would only give the show what they wanted. Drama. Obviously they had arranged for Jace to meet her here.

He waved the key. “Bet this opens the lock, Freckles.”

Millie winced at his use of the endearment. She couldn’t answer. She wanted nothing to do with him. If he were the last man on earth, she would gladly die a virgin. She gnawed on the inside of her mouth.

A second cameraman, one she didn’t recognize, moved closer.

She wrapped her arms around her stomach.

“You okay?” Jace asked quietly with a quick, concerned look.

Millie wished he’d stop pretending. His compassion was an act. He only cared about how the show portrayed him. She wouldn’t be taken in by his good looks and charm again.

Yes, she might have been heartbroken the night of The Groom finale, but she’d quickly realized everyone had gotten carried away on the show. Nothing, not even her feelings, had been real. “I’m fine.”

She stared at his jacket and his pants. They matched the ones she wore. Why would he be wearing…?

The answer hit her like a shot put to the head. The clue had said she would find something to take with her on the race. Jace wasn’t only here to give her the key.

Millie’s heart dropped to her tennis shoes and kept going over two hundred feet to the ground below. Splat. “You’re a contestant on Cash Around the Globe?

He nodded once, his mouth tight.

She cringed, feeling duped. Used. Manipulated. Again.
Melissa McClone. The Groom (Kindle Locations 177-216). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Angry but resigned, she accepts the fact that in order to continue, it would be Jace by her side.

I want to say here that I hate reality shows, but reading about it totally different! I loved the progression as these two work their way through the obstacles set by the show. I laughed and cried and screamed at my kindle.

I can’t wait to see what Melissa has in store for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Deal Breaker – Billionaires of Silicon Forest Book 3 By Melissa McClone


The Deal Breaker
Billionaires of Silicon Forest
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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There are some lines friends should never cross…
right?

Status quo might as well be Dashiell Cabot’s middle name. He has a job he loves, a billion dollars in the bank, and a best friend named Iris who keeps his personal life running smoothly. Why would he ever want to change any of that? But when Iris Jacobs tells him she’s quitting and returning to culinary school, Dash’s beloved status quo is thrown into chaos. Even worse? The thought of her departure is forcing him to realize his feelings for her might extend beyond the friend zone.

Iris wants more out of life than taking care of Dash. She always has. And even though she could never repay him for everything he’s done for her, she can no longer afford to protect his precious status quo at the expense of her own dreams. She has no choice but to leave…unless he can give her a compelling—and possibly romantic—reason to stay.

They’ve always been just friends. That was their deal. But when all is said and done, something will be broken—either their deal…or their hearts.

Dashiell aka Dash and Iris had always been best friends, but over the last few years Iris has noticed they haven’t done much together anymore. She’s his housekeeper and cook but she also takes that to a whole other level. A level I’m not sure even a wife would master. When her mother died and her father kicked her out the two of them had been inseparable. Now that Dash has his own very successful business and is a billionaire, it’s like she doesn’t exist. Dash even forgot her at Christmas this year as he traveled east with his girlfriend Raina for the holiday, not even a small gift. It’s time for her to follow her dreams, she’s put them off long enough.

On New Year’s Eve, Henry tried to wake Dash up by kissing Iris, Now Henry is going to visit with Iris after the guys poker game, hosted by Dash. This leads Dash to decide to confront Iris about her relationship with Henry even though he technically has no right to know anything.

He is in for quite the surprise as Iris delivers quite the blow.

This is a favorite scene.

Iris took a breath and then exhaled slowly. A corner of Dash’s mouth curved upward. “I can hear the gears in your brain from here.”

“They’re cranking,” she joked, hoping to put herself at ease.

It didn’t.

He set his glass on the table. “What’s going on?”

Might as well get this over with. “I’ve enrolled in culinary school.”

Dash’s jaw relaxed. His eyes brightened. “Another weekend workshop?”

Iris had taken those in the past with his full support, though she’d turned down his offer to pay for the classes. “No, I’ll be a full-time student.”

He opened his mouth and then closed it. A range of emotions crossed his face— confusion, surprise, anger.

“That’s not possible.” His voice was tight as if he were trying to rein himself in. “You work for me full-time.”

She angled toward him. “You’ve done so much for me, Dash. I’ll never be able to thank you for taking me in when I had nowhere else to go and giving me a job. I’ve enjoyed working for you, but my dream has always been to be a chef. That got put on hold when my mom needed me, but now…”

“Now what?” Deep lines formed on his forehead and around his mouth. “Are you leaving me?”

His words came out raw and harsh.

Her breath hitched. A band appeared to wrap around her chest, squeezing tightly.

Dash had never sounded that way before. Not even during the worst times with his parents. But she needed to continue. “Yes. I’m resigning as your housekeeper.”

He jumped to his feet. Mumbled to himself. Paced in front of the coffee table.

“You’re more than a housekeeper.” The words flew out. “You cook and run errands. You shop for my clothes and tell me what to wear. You keep my personal life on track.”

If he’d been sitting next to her, she would have reached out to him. But maybe it was better this way. He would need to learn to settle himself without her help. “Others will do those things for you.”

“No.” He stopped pacing. His hands balled before he flexed his fingers. “I want you to do them. The way you always have. You can’t leave. We’ll find a way for you to go to school and stay with me.”

Normally, she gave in to him. That tendency had her wanting to do just that. Not this time. She couldn’t.

Iris pressed her shoulders back. “This isn’t what you expected, and I’m sorry for upsetting you, but you’ll get used to the change sooner than you think. I hired people. I’ve been training them this past week.”

He shook his head. “That explains the pantry.”

“What?”

“Nothing.” Dash stared at her, a muscle ticking at his jaw. “I had no idea you weren’t happy. Name your salary. Whatever it is you want, I’ll pay it.”

Of course he would because he had enough money to last a hundred lifetimes. He wouldn’t miss a million or even ten million dollars.

“I don’t want your money. You pay me way more than you should.”

“Then tell me what will make you happier.”

“I’m not unhappy, Dash.” She wanted him to see this from her side, not his. “My plan was always to finish the culinary school program. I didn’t have the money to do that after my mom died, so I’ve been saving since then. Thanks to your Christmas bonus, I no longer have to wait.”

“Christmas bonus, huh?” Dash’s nostrils flared. “When do classes start?”

“A week from Thursday. I’m sorry for not telling you sooner. That’s on me for not giving two weeks’ notice.”

Mumbling again, he glanced up at the ceiling. “I don’t care about that. I don’t want you to leave.”

“The new staff are skilled. They’re super nice. You won’t know I’m gone.”

His face reddened. “How can you say that? You’ve been taking care of me, my apartment, and then this house for six years. You’re irreplaceable. And not only for what you do. You belong here. We’re friends.”

“We don’t see much of each other these days.” And even less now that he was dating Raina.

“But I like knowing you’re around.” He paced again, moving his arms in front of him as if he were having a conversation in his head. “Tell me what I can do to change your mind.”

“Nothing.” She didn’t hesitate answering. “This isn’t about you or the job. It’s about me. My mom’s illness derailed my plans when I was nineteen. Then my dad’s midlife crisis three years later made me put off what I wanted to do again. I’m twenty-eight. It’s time to go back. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.”

“But—”

“It’ll all work out.”
Melissa McClone. The Deal Breaker (Kindle Locations 727-775). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Dash really hasn’t grown up in spite of his success. It’s so obvious in every word out of his mouth. Iris has done the right thing.

I truly enjoyed watching Dash dump Raina, she really deserved it. The interactions with Iris become more and more complicated as well.

I loved this book, there’s plenty going on and I just adore the character growth.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Quinn Valley Ranch: 2 Book Set – Carter’s Cowgirl and Summer Serenade by Melissa McClone


Quinn Valley Ranch Two Book Set
Contains
Carter’s Cowgirl
Summer Serenade
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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Second chances, forgiveness,
and dreams coming true.
Nothing is impossible at Quinn Valley Ranch…

This collection includes two emotional, sweet, and heartwarming standalone Quinn sibling stories, three new scenes, and a recipe list. The boxed set features:

Carter’s Cowgirl:
Romance isn’t even on Carter Quinn’s radar. Which is why he’s shocked to find himself falling for Avery Scott, the lovely consultant he hired to help take his organic farm to the next level. But can he convince the commitment-shy Avery to let down the walls around her heart and take a chance on love?

Summer Serenade:
Ivy Quinn wanted to be a star—until country superstar Nash Bennett crushed her dreams on national television. She was sure she’d never see him again. So imagine her surprise when he shows up years later, hoping to make amends, rekindle her musical dreams, and ultimately win her heart. But she could never open herself up to that kind of potential heartbreak…or could she?

Fall in love and live happily every after in Quinn Valley. It just might become your new favorite small town!


These books are Melissa McClone’s contributions to a multi-author series set in Quinn Valley, Nevada. These books are sweet simmering romance and there are new scenes and recipes too.

Carter has hired a consultant to help him take his Organic Farm to the next level. For the last couple of years it’s just been status quo and he now feels he’s at the point he can do more. He has the bunkhouse set up for her since there are no hands on the property in the winter.

Avery is the consultant, she travels from farm to farm with her horse Mercury, he is her only family.

Now when Carter brings her to the bunkhouse, they discover the heat is out, and after an initial check, he’d have to call in an expert. This is when Avery freaks out a bit when Carter offers her a room in the main house.

This is a favorite scene.

That was her fault. Carter Quinn might be attractive, paid her a compliment by calling her pretty, and offered her a room in his house, but that didn’t mean she’d had to overreact.

Except that was exactly what she’d done in the bunkhouse.

He motioned to the door on the right.

When she crossed the threshold, she felt instantly at home. Granted, the bunkhouse had been freezing, but this bedroom went beyond the warm temperature to cozy and welcoming.

As Carter placed her suitcase onto the queen-sized bed, Avery willed her pulse to slow. Her breathing, too.

She’d jumped all over him for mentioning her looks and then treated him like he was an axe murderer who would feed her body to the pigs. Not that he had any on the farm.

Only cattle and chickens.

Horses and a dog, too.

Talk about freaking out.

And embarrassing herself.

“Will this room do?” he asked.

“Yes.” She placed her backpack on the floor. “Thank you.”

Complimenting her wasn’t a crime, but she preferred to be acknowledged for anything other than her looks. He didn’t know that, however, and she shouldn’t take her frustrations from past interactions out on him.

Nothing he’d done suggested he would flirt or make a pass. He hadn’t followed what he’d said with any innuendos. A glance or two, but that could mean anything or… nothing.

Pathetic.

She’d stayed in other clients’ houses so many times she’d been surprised when he’d offered her the use of the bunkhouse. Yet, when he’d brought up sleeping in his home, she’d snapped.

The bitter taste of regret coated her mouth.

She glanced over her shoulder, expecting to be alone, but Carter was still there. He moved toward the door with quick steps as if trying to get out of her way. Which proved yet again that he was a decent guy. One with sisters, brothers, and a lot of other relatives who might drop by unexpectedly and enter without knocking. Knowing that made her feel more comfortable. Now to let Carter in on that.

“There are clean towels hanging in the bathroom,” he explained in a low voice, sounding as if he didn’t want to upset her more. “If you need extra washcloths or hand towels, they’re in the cabinet below the sink.”

“Thank you.” She needed to say more, but expressing her appreciation for his hospitality was a start.

Carter had been nothing but polite. He’d apologized after she’d taken his words the wrong way. Albeit, her being hair-triggered was due to what she’d dealt with in the past from bosses, coworkers, and plain jerks, but painting all men with the same wide brushstroke wasn’t right.

Or fair.

She hadn’t spoken up for years, but now standing up for herself was second nature. She’d become her own advocate because no one else would, but she still needed to think before she spoke.

He backed up farther. “If there’s anything you need, please let me know.”

“I will.” She surveyed the room. Much better than the freezing cold bunkhouse. A green-and-blue plaid comforter and coordinating pillows gave the space a slightly masculine feel. Mismatched nightstands with matching lamps sat on either side of the bed. A dresser graced one wall, while an oversized oak armoire seemed to be the only closet. “This is a lovely room.”

“It used to be mine before Ben followed Frannie to heaven.”

The affection for those two people shone on Carter’s face, the same as it had when he talked about his family. He was fortunate to have earned such love.

At least she had Mercury.

Avery would forever be grateful to her stepfather for that. She took a breath before releasing it slowly.

“Staying here is much better than spending the night in a freezing bunkhouse.” Time for her mea culpa. “I’m sorry for my reaction— or rather, my overreaction— earlier.”

“No problem.” He spoke without missing a beat. The words could have been said flippantly, but his were full of sincerity. “You traveled a long distance today only to have things not be what you expected when you arrived.”

Her mouth dropped. She closed it. That was exactly it, but how had he figured that out about her? “The drive wasn’t bad, but the other…”

Avery needed a minute before continuing.

“You don’t have to tell me,” Carter said.

“I do.” She’d expected him to press for the reason, not back off, but that didn’t change anything. He deserved an explanation for her behavior. “There are a few things that upset me. Push me over the edge. Being called pretty is one of them. I’ve been judged because of my looks with not-so-pleasant outcomes. I also don’t respond well when plans change suddenly, even if the result turns out in my favor. Like staying in this guest room instead of the bunkhouse.”

Too many times, her life had been thrown into upheaval. From being kicked out of the home she’d grown up in to losing jobs, she’d had security ripped away when she’d least expected.

“I’m also not a big fan of surprises,” she continued. “But I shouldn’t have freaked out over staying in your house. My behavior was uncalled for. I hope you’ll forgive me and allow us to start over.”

The corners of his mouth curled up. He didn’t sigh, but she caught a slight exhale.
Melissa McClone. Quinn Valley Ranch Two Book Set (Kindle Locations 489-542). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Now while these two are definitely attracted to each other, there are some outside forces as well. There are Quinn’s everywhere and Carter’s grandmother would definitely like to see him at least dating.

I love the slow build of friendship that grows steadily to a love that can’t be denied.

Lots of fun, laughter, and animal chats.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Ivy Quinn writes music and occasionally performs at her siblings bar and grill. Even though they keep telling her to pursue her music she is perfectly happy waitressing and performing once in a while here.

Nash Bennett is in Quinn Valley for R&R and physical therapy after falling off the stage during a performance in Seattle. Everyone involved with him had signed a non-disclosure agreement. This is to prevent the paparazzi from finding him and hindering his recovery.

Things were going just fine, until he hears Ivy sing.

This is a favorite scene.

The crowd’s reaction overwhelmed Ivy. She bowed and headed toward the kitchen, needing space.

Halfway there, a bearded man stepped in her path.

He wore faded blue jeans, a blue T-shirt with the name of the hottest new video game on the front, a beanie pulled low on his forehead, and sunglasses.

Who wore a beanie in the summer and sunglasses inside at night? Must be a hipster. Probably from Portland or Seattle given his lumberjack-worthy beard, but she shouldn’t judge. Quinn’s was known for their friendly customer service. She wouldn’t disappoint. “May I help you?”

“Your set was great.” His lips curved into a charming smile. “You have a fantastic voice, and I won’t be forgetting that last song anytime soon.”

The compliment made her stand taller. “Thanks. I’m happy you enjoyed the show.”

“I did. I…” His voice trailed off. “Could I buy you a drink?”

She forced her shoulders not to sag and her smile not to falter. He was still a customer, but she hated that the guy couldn’t have just said his two cents before returning to his table. She hated being hit on at work.

“No, thanks.” She clutched her guitar like a lifeline. “I can’t. I’m busy.”

“Are you performing again?” he asked.

He must not be from around here, which meant he didn’t know she was on the staff. “No.”

The man opened his mouth as if to speak but then pressed his lips together. “Thanks for the music. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”

“You, too.”

She barely had the words out before he turned, wove his way around tables, and left the pub.

Melissa McClone. Quinn Valley Ranch Two Book Set (Kindle Locations 2458-2472). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Nash of course couldn’t let things be, and then the fireworks start when he reveals himself to her. She knows him and she wants nothing to do with him.

I love the way this story plays out, it is emotional and satisfying. There is humor, romance and also betrayal and redemption.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Countdown to Christmas: The Wish Maker – The Billionaires of Silicon Forest Book 2 by Melissa McClone


The Wish Maker
The Billionaires of Silicon Forest Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

At Christmas,
sometimes even impossible wishes come true…

One word changed Wes Lockhart’s life forever. Cancer. Fighting for his life completely flipped his priorities, making him realize he wanted—no, needed—to use his billions to help others find the kind of second chance he’d been given. The first person he intended to help? The beautiful, kind, and dedicated oncologist who got him through his treatments and ushered him into remission. And what better time than the holidays to become her not-so-secret Santa?

Dr. Paige Regis has spent her entire career helping others, often at the expense of her personal life. She’d love to start a family of her own—but with her current patients and her plans to open a brand-new cancer center, it seems like an impossible dream. It’s not until she reconnects with the charming Wes that she realizes he might just be the man to make all her Christmas wishes come true.

Can Wes and Paige open their hearts to the magic of the season—and each other—to get a shot at their very own Christmas miracle? Or will past hurts and doubts end their happily ever after before it even begins?



Wes had been thought of as ruthless, heartless and much worse before he found he had Lymphoma. The fight for his life was difficult and now that he is in remission he doesn’t have that same drive. If he dies he wants to be remembered in a far different light.

Henry his ever interfering friend pushes him to do something a bit different this Christmas season. Instead of just signing checks, go see where the money goes.

Paige was his oncologist, and he credits her with saving his life even though it was a whole team of physicians. She’s no longer his physician and he meets up with her in an unusual way. Playing Santa at the children’s ward at the hospital.

Paige has another problem though, apparently the fund-raising for the new Cancer wing her pet project, has fallen short by twenty five million dollars. At Henry’s invitation she attends the children’s party, finding Santa familiar but can’t seem to place him. He gets her to tell him what she wants for Christmas.

Surprised at seeing him there, and even more so when he tells her his foundation would cover the amount she needs, they go to a nearby coffee shop to discuss the logistics of the donation.

What should have been a relatively short conversation becomes a lot more.

This is a favorite scene

“Do you have time to grab a coffee?” That would give them a place to talk with no one trying to eavesdrop. Not that Rachael was. Yet. “I remember a place not too far away.”

“I’m free,” Paige said. “There’s a coffee shop half a block away that’s open late.”

“Sounds great. Ready to go?”

She nodded. “I just need to grab my purse on our way out.”

Ten minutes later, Wes sat across from her at a small round table tucked in a back corner. He sipped his Americano.

“I would have taken you for the caramel macchiato type.” He eyed her mug, which was topped with whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, and a candy cane. “Not peppermint hot chocolate.”

“It’s a Christmas drink. Not as traditional as eggnog, but a close second.”

She took a sip. When she lowered her mug from her mouth, a dollop of whipped cream stuck to her upper lip.

Wes shouldn’t be staring or wishing he could help her with it. He tried to look away, but he couldn’t. Fighting the urge to wipe it off, he handed her a napkin. “You have whipped cream on your mouth.”

“That always happens with these drinks.” She patted her face with the napkin. “But it’s worth it.”

Glad she thought so. Wes never imagined himself envying a napkin, especially when he wasn’t interested in dating.
Melissa McClone. The Wish Maker (Kindle Locations 513-523). Cardinal Press, LLC.

The slow build up to a relationship is both confusing and scary to Wes, he still has much to deal with, including the lies he didn’t correct regarding his ex.

Paige on the other hand has her own issues, always putting off things because of work.

The banter between the ‘Billionaires of Silicon Forest’ was as fun and snarky. Paige fits right in with this crew even though she fights the attraction to Wes. She wants more than just a fling and won’t date unless it can lead somewhere more than just the bedroom.

A thoroughly enjoyable Christmas read complete with small town events to warm your heart as Paige and Wes turn up the heat.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Wife Finder – The Billionaires of Silicon Forest Book 1 by Melissa McClone


The Wife Finder
The Billionaires of Silicon Forest Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

When it comes to love,
all bets are off…

Failure has never been an option for self-made billionaire Blaise Mortenson. So when his friends suggest a wager to see who will be the last bachelor among them, he takes the bet. He has no doubt he’ll win—especially after he hires Hadley Lowell to find perfect matches for his friends. Now all Blaise has to do is ignore his growing attraction to the gorgeous, demanding matchmaker.

Hadley runs her business like a clandestine military op, precisely controlling every feasible outcome. But falling for a client? That was a possibility she never saw coming. Blaise’s drive, determination, and the softer side he tries to hide from the world appeals to her on a gut-deep level—but while her matchmaking success rate is unbeatable, finding love for herself has been nearly impossible. There’s no way her happily ever after could come in the form of a tech billionaire who isn’t even looking for love…is there?

What should have been a simple business transaction quickly turns into something way more complicated, and Blaise starts to wonder if he’s in danger of losing more than just the bet when all is said and done…

As Blaise, Wes and Dash prepare for the garter toss at their friend Mason’s wedding, Blaise decides that in order to be the last single one of their group and win the bet he needs to take some drastic measures.

With the help of Henry Davenport, who is sort of responsible for matches within his group, Blaise sets out to find matches for Wes and Dash.

Hadley Lowell has some strict conditions to her matchmaking business and she doesn’t ever make exceptions. That’s something Blaise isn’t used to, nobody ever says no to him. However Hadley does so repeatedly.

Blaise decides to push things along and travels a day earlier than Hadley had the time for him. He’s determined to have this interview and be back to business as usual the next morning.

Boy was he in for a surprise.

This is a favorite scene.

A woman stepped into the doorway. She was four inches shorter than him with auburn shoulder-length hair, ivory skin, and pink cheeks. Early to mid-thirties. And gorgeous.

Mouthwateringly, so.

She wasn’t one of those women who are so thin their heads look out of proportion, the kind who only ate salad and an occasional slice of avocado toast. That type didn’t appeal to him. This one did. She had curves— nice ones.

Blaise wanted to memorize every detail.

Her blue eyes reminded him of the sky on a summer day, when flowers bloomed, the sun shone, and the dark, lonely nights didn’t last as long as they did in winter.

He stared transfixed, connected to this stranger by an invisible force. Awareness thrummed through him. Staring was rude, but he couldn’t look away from her.

Noises sounded. Muted footsteps. A door. A phone.

All Blaise could focus on was her.

Maybe this trip hadn’t been such a bad idea. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so… intrigued.

She blinked. “Can I help you?”

Her voice was deeper than expected, a tad husky. Sexy. He wanted to hear her say more and laugh. He couldn’t wait to hear her laugh.

She cleared her throat. “You’re Blaise Mortenson.”

The woman didn’t sound surprised. If anything, she appeared resigned.

Did that mean…?

Of course, it did. “You’re Hadley Lowell.”

She nodded once.

His insides deflated. A strange reaction. One he would ignore.

Hadley eyed him curiously. “I thought you were too busy to come to San Francisco.”

“Yes, but you’re the best matchmaker, so here I am.”

“I told you my next appointment is tomorrow at nine.”

“That was before I changed my plans.” And asked Trevor to cancel calls and reschedule meetings. Blaise needed to be back in the office before the markets opened tomorrow. “Let’s talk now.”

She locked the door to the office before facing him again. “That won’t work.”

“I’m here. I came to you. As you require.” Something he normally wouldn’t have done. For anyone. Then again, he usually wouldn’t notice the cute freckles sprinkled across the bridge of her nose. “Can’t you be a little flexible?”

Hadley’s jaw tensed. “You’re not the only one with obligations.”

“I’ll make it worth your while.”

Her face scrunched. “Does throwing money at a problem always work for you?”

“Usually.”

“Not this time.” She adjusted the strap of her computer bag. “I have to go.”

“Wait.” Blaise hadn’t blocked Hadley’s way, but he didn’t want her to leave yet. The last commercial flight to Portland departed at eleven tonight. He wanted to be on it, because this visit wasn’t worth the carbon footprint of a private jet ride. “Are you free this afternoon or this evening? I can meet you no matter what time you have available.”

“Mr. Mortenson—”

“Blaise.”

She frowned. “Blaise, I have two children to pick up from school in less than forty-five minutes. After that, we have a busy afternoon planned.”

Children?

Disappointment shot through him. A glance at her left hand showed a bare ring finger. That meant she was divorced or widowed. For some odd reason, the realization brought relief. “How old are your kids?”

“They’re my niece and nephew.” Hadley’s knuckles turned white around her keys. “Both are young enough I can’t keep them waiting. So if you’ll excuse me—”

“I’ll go with you.”

Her brows furrowed. “What did you say?”

Her question took him aback because he’d said the first thing that had come to his mind. “I’ll come with you.”

“Why would you want to do that?”

He wasn’t ready to say goodbye. No, that wasn’t the reason. He was here to discuss her matchmaking service so he could win the bet. “I’m sure you’ll have a block of free time so we can talk.”

She half laughed. “You don’t have children.”

The thought of loud, sticky small humans made him squirm. “No.”

“Have you spent much time around children?”

Donating money to charities that helped kids was fine, but real-life interactions? He shuddered. “No.”

Hadley rubbed her mouth. “It’ll be easier if you wait until tomorrow morning.”

“I can’t wait. This is important to me.”

A door opened down the hall.

She glanced that way before looking at him. “What if we don’t have time to talk?”

Now she was making excuses, trying to get out of meeting with him, but he wouldn’t let her off that easily.

Wes was the image of smooth and eloquent no matter the situation. Adam and Kieran weren’t as charming, but they held their own. Dash could be the poster child for introverted, socially clueless tech guys. Mason was a step above him. Blaise, however, fell in the middle of his friends.

On purpose.

He hated meaningless chit-chat, but he’d learned the ability to mingle and make small talk would help him get ahead. It wasn’t something that came naturally, but that hadn’t stopped him. He’d observed and practiced. He had a feeling those lessons would come in handy with Hadley.

Blaise would keep his voice light. “I wouldn’t blame you.”

“I hope not, since it wouldn’t be my fault.”

Okay, maybe his tone hadn’t been as playful as he’d hoped, but hiding his irritation was harder than he thought it would be. She was the problem. Not him. If she was more flexible with her process, this trip to San Francisco wouldn’t have been necessary.

“Can I come along?” he asked in his this-will-be-fun voice he used when an overnight shift debugging code faced his team. He would try one more thing. “Please.”

She blew out a breath. “Let’s go.”

Blaise fought the urge to pump his fist. Instead, he fell in step next to her as she headed to the lobby at a quick pace.

“Do you have a car?” he asked.

She held up her keys. “I do.”

Guess he wouldn’t need the SUV, except… “Lex can follow us.”

“Who is Lex?”

“One of my bodyguards.”

“The more the merrier.” Her tone was more ominous than humorous. “But if you think we’ll have a meeting in bits and pieces while I drive, ride with Lex.”

Blaise held up his hands, palms out. “I can wait until we have a block of
time.”

“You might be waiting awhile.” She eyed him warily. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

No worries. He’d shown up unexpectedly and asked her to make an exception for their meeting. But that was what he did— tackled issues head-on.

No one got the better of him.

Especially a matchmaker, one who thought she was in control on her home turf.
Melissa McClone. The Wife Finder (Kindle Locations 568-620). Cardinal Press, LLC.

What ensues is an interesting romp with Hadley and her niece and nephew. I laughed so much as Blaise is thwarted at every turn.

When Hadley finally agrees to try to match up Wes and Dash, she ends up in a situation that is both comedic and romantic.

This is a complicated, fun and thoroughly enjoyable read with just the right amount of sizzle.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Four Book Bundle! One Night To Forever – Books 1 – 4 By Melissa McClone


Experience love when it’s least expected
with four full-length,
heartwarming sweet romances
in the One Night to Forever box set!

Includes

One Night to Forever
One Night to Forever Books 1-4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

With fake engagements, a surprise pregnancy, friendship to love, and hate to love storylines, these four novels will take you from San Francisco to Portland to Sun Valley. Treat yourself and find out how one night can lead to forever…

Fiancé for the Night

When a fake engagement spirals out of control, Cassandra fears losing her heart. Will she end the fake engagement, or could Troy be her perfect husband for life?

The Wedding Lullaby

After an impromptu wedding that was just for fun, Laurel discovers she’s pregnant. Will she get the marriage and family she dreams of having with Brett?

A Little Bit Engaged

A PR nightmare drags Cara into a fake engagement with A-list actor—and former crush—Brody. What will it take for her to survive the ruse with her heart intact

Love on the Slopes

The one person who can help her is the last person she’d ever trust…again. Can Ryland and Brynn overcome their painful pasts and make their dreams come true—together?

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Fiancé for the Night

This book is a tale of things spinning totally out of control.

It begins innocently enough, Cassandra wants to stop her parents from setting her up with their idea of the perfect husband for her. She decides to select one man from a local hangout that fits the bill and have him be her fiancé for the night.

Troy isn’t quite sure what to make of the free spirited Cassandra as he considers her proposal. He decides to go for it, a free meal and a lovely companion for the evening beats going home to an empty apartment and working.

Cassandra gets quite the surprise when she finds out what Troy does for a living and things start hurtling out of control.

This is a favorite scene.

Cassandra’s cheeks warmed. Thank goodness he wasn’t her type, or she could imagine falling for Mr. Troy McKnight.

“Enough honeymoon talk.” Her father straightened in his chair.

“Why don’t we discuss the wedding?” her mother suggested. “Have you set a date?”

“No,” Cassandra said. “We aren’t sure if we want a traditional wedding or not.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Emily muttered. “I see you don’t have a ring yet.”

“We’re using my grandmother’s engagement ring,” Troy said. The man kept saying the unexpected, and she appreciated his fast thinking. “I haven’t had time to fly home and get it from my parents’ house.”

“Your grandmother’s ring.” Her mother clapped her hands together. “A family heirloom. How wonderful.”

Troy smiled at Cassandra. Her mother’s reaction seemed to please him.

Eric glanced at the rock on Emily’s ring finger. “That works out well financially. Troy has a ring to use, and Cassandra has a dress to wear.”

Jerk. Cassandra balled her hands into fists.

Emily’s parted lips matched her wide eyes. She exchanged a glance with Eric.

“She can’t wear that dress,” Emily said with uncharacteristic understanding. “She bought it for… for… another wedding.”

“But the dress has never been worn,” Eric explained as if he were talking about a pair of jeans, not a beautiful white dress that had made Cassandra feel like a princess. “Letting an expensive wedding gown hang in the closet forever because I married you would be a total waste.”

Cassandra stiffened. She couldn’t believe she’d told that moron she loved him or said yes when he’d asked her to marry him. Temporary insanity. That was the only explanation.

Troy placed his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. His warm breath teased her neck.

“Are you okay?” he whispered.

She nodded. At least someone cared, or pretended to care, about her feelings. “I sold the dress.”

“Well, then. That means you’ll need a new one. This time…” Her mother picked up her glass of Chardonnay. “I want to go shopping with you.”

“Of course, Mother.” That day would never happen.

“There’s plenty of time to talk about the wedding,” her father said. “All I know is my little girl looks happy, and that makes me happy.”

“My job is to make her happy.” Troy caressed Cassandra’s cheek with his fingertips.

A tingle ran up her spine. “You do an excellent job.”

Did he ever.

He was playing the devoted fiancé role better than she expected. She would have to be careful given the sparks that could easily erupt into fireworks if he kept touching her.

“What do you do, Troy?” Emily asked.

Leave it to her sister to get to the bottom line— income potential. An interrogation of Troy was bound to happen at some point. Cassandra had hoped they could get through appetizers and their salads first.

No biggie.

She assumed Troy was an attorney. He had that overpaid, on-a-retainer, stick-up-his-bottom lawyer look about him. “Go ahead, honey. Tell them what you do.”

Troy cleared his throat. “Venture capital.”

Oh, no. Not V.C. Cassandra clenched her teeth to keep her mouth from gaping open. Her stomach somersaulted.

This couldn’t be happening.

Not again.

Her dad beamed. Of course this news would make him ecstatic.

Dixon Daniels was one of the long-reigning kings of venture capitalists— financiers who invested in startup companies in hopes of making huge profits. He’d made a fortune at the height of the tech bubble, but money had continued to pour in after the dot-com collapse and now.

Her father leaned forward. “I thought you looked familiar, Troy. Who do you work for, Sand Hill? No, it’s Scorpio Partners. I remember now. You handled the MagiWare deal.”

Troy nodded.

“Impressive.” Her dad wasn’t a man who gave praise often. “Why didn’t you tell me your fiancé was in the business, honey?”

Cassandra struggled for words to say. Troy had caught her off-guard. He looked like an attorney. He was supposed to be an attorney.

How could she have been so stupid? Why hadn’t she asked what he did?

Daniels Venture Group was a respected firm, and Dixon Daniels was known as the master. Up-and-comers would kill to learn from him. Marrying the boss’s daughter was an easy way in. Just ask Eric Wainwright.

Not sure how to answer, she swallowed. “Well, Dad…”

“We wanted to tell you in person,” Troy finished for her, much to Cassandra’s relief. “I didn’t want you to think I was marrying your daughter for the wrong reasons.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 427-475). Cardinal Press, LLC.

From a one night dinner, the ‘engagement’ proceeds to a week-end and then more.

All of sudden it’s not just solving Cassie’s problem, it becomes an issue for Troy and his employment.

Lots of twists, turns and fun as these two become more than just pretend.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

The Wedding Lullaby

Henry Davenport’s birthday extravaganzas are legendary among his friends. Those in attendance all have something in common other than their extreme wealth, they all have holiday birthdays. The preface of this book supplies the cause of the effects that are in this story. A fake wedding is the theme and the ‘lucky’ dice rollers are Brett Matthews and Laurel Worthington.

At the time of the party, no one knew the dire circumstances facing Laurel and her mother. Now broke and pregnant, Laurel has to approach Brett for a job. She won’t force him to accept the child, in fact, she won’t be a trophy wife forced on him because of pregnancy. She wants love and respect.

Of course Brett already knows everything, and is more than ready to accept the responsibility of both her and the child. He just wasn’t going to make it easy on her. She would never have dated him before that party, his was new money, not the old her family preferred.

Brett had also convinced himself she would take the easy way and marry him over getting a job. Boy was he wrong.

This is a favorite scene.

Brett was only trying to do the right thing. Why wasn’t that good enough for Laurel? His family may not have crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower or been listed on the pages of the social registry, but she was the one with no money, no home, and no job. What would he have to do to convince her to marry him?

On the drive to the restaurant, the atmosphere in his car was as chilly as a February morning, and the cold wasn’t blasting from the air-conditioning.
Recognizing the scent of her perfume didn’t help matters. The light floral fragrance suited her perfectly, and the smell transported him back to watching her dress the morning after their so-called wedding night. She’d dabbed the perfume behind her earlobes, on her wrists, and in the hollow between her breasts.

She’d thought he was asleep and was sneaking out before he awakened. She hadn’t known he’d been up since dawn wondering what to do and say to her. Laurel had taken care of that for him by leaving a note on the pillow next to him.

He’d read the letter so many times he had it memorized….

Every little girl dreams of her wedding day, complete with her own Prince Charming. The ceremony at the Love Dove Wedding Nest Chapel might not have met those expectations, but last night exceeded them. Thank you for making my dreams come true, even if it was for only one night. I wish I could stay longer, but family obligations require me to return to Chicago.

P.S. Thanks for the “wedding” gift. I love the snow globe.

Sure, she did.

Brett knew better than to believe anything she said, then or now. In Reno, he’d thought she would be the perfect wife. So much for perfection.

Yet, he couldn’t deny his attraction for her. An attraction growing by the minute, as crazy as it was to believe.

After parking at the restaurant, he helped her out of the car. She stiffened at his touch, but he wasn’t deterred. As he led her inside, his hand resting on the small of her back, she stayed tensed.

He swore under his breath.

The ice-maiden routine had to stop.

Once they were seated and ordered dinner, the tension between them didn’t improve. The din of voices from the other diners, along with music from the piano in the lounge, kept their lack of conversation from being overly awkward.

A brush of her leg against his sent sparks flying, but she merely apologized, dismissing him without a thought, and sipped her water.

Water wouldn’t cut it for Brett. Three fingers of whiskey sounded about right. He wasn’t a big drinker, but Laurel could make a man do things he normally didn’t do. He settled for beer, a local brewery’s award-winning summer ale, and tried to figure out his strategy.

He hadn’t gotten this far in life by taking no for an answer.

Things weren’t going as he expected— or rather, maybe they were. He’d deluded himself into thinking Laurel could see beyond her upbringing and former station in life. Both in Reno and now.

Truth was she’d hurt him by leaving without saying goodbye, and by not contacting him after she returned to Chicago. That had nothing to do with the baby and everything to do with him.

He shouldn’t care. Not now.

The situation had changed. This wasn’t about her or him. The baby was the bottom line. His ego might be bruised by her rejection, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him.

She had to marry him.

His baby needed a family. He would do whatever it took to make that happen. Even lower his standards to marry her.

“Now about us getting married,” he said finally.

She massaged her temples. “Let’s not repeat that mistake.”

He flinched. “Mistake or not, I’m concerned how you intend to care for our baby.”

“I told you.” She sighed. “Some women choose to stay at home. Others choose to work. I’m going to work.”

“You’re pregnant. You shouldn’t be working.”

Laurel frowned. “Pregnancy is not an illness, although some misinformed people think it is. That’s one reason I came to you.”

She didn’t have a clue. About life. About him.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me, Brett Matthews.” She pursed her lips. “I didn’t travel this far on a whim. Do you think leaving my hometown for a city I’ve never been to was easy? Do you think I wanted to spend three days riding on a bus?”

Everything she did surprised him. “Why didn’t you find a job in Chicago?”

She toyed with her napkin. “I had a job, but it didn’t work out.”

According to the PI’s report, she’d been fired from her position at an exclusive department store, but no reason for her dismissal had been given.

“I searched for another job, but due to my father’s stellar reputation preceding me, I couldn’t find anything that paid more than minimum wage. I thought you would be able to look past my current condition, so I could start over and make a new life here in Portland.”

“You really want to work?”

“I really want to work.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 3967-4017). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Brett finally agrees to give her a job as assistant to his assistant. He also makes a plan to go with her to look at apartments, even though he has no intention of letting her live anywhere but with him.

This is a fun read with plenty of ups and downs a Laurel not only finds her way as a working women but also finds herself in the process. Even Brett grows in his mindset as this tale unfolds.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

A Little Bit Engaged

This story is painful in the sense that throughout Cait aka Caitlyn seems oblivious to the hurt and embarrassment she is causing Brody and her sister.

Brody springs a surprise visit on Cara and also an almost unbelievable proposition. A temporary engagement.

Now Cara has been a little more than in love with Brody since their school days, but this is almost more than she can handle. Then Brody shows her the video that has caused Cait to force their hands.

This is a favorite scene.

“We’re not getting married,” Caitlin hiccupped between sobs. Streams of mascara-stained tears flowed down her cheeks. “Brody and I… We aren’t engaged. We broke up.”

Cara’s lips parted, her eyes widened, and then she blinked several times. Her face tightened into a pained expression that made him feel like a jerk. “Why did you break up? Is Caitlin okay? Did you hurt her?”

“Keep watching.”

Auntie Shark patted Caitlin’s arm. “I’m so sorry.”

Caitlin swiped her hand across her face. The move made a bigger mess of her makeup. She appeared oh-so-human, not the perfectly put together actress that girls and teens idolized.

Auntie Shark extended a tissue. “Take your time, dear.”

“Thank you.” Caitlin dabbed her face slowly as if trying to think of what to say next. If only she hadn’t rushed… “I didn’t want our fans to find out this way, but I suppose there isn’t a good time to tell them.”

“Tell them what?” Auntie Shark sounded giddy.

Caitlin stared straight at the camera. Her vulnerability clawed at him. “About Brody.”

“What about him?”

“He’s… He’s getting married.”

“Huh?” Cara muttered.

“What?” Auntie Shark’s mouth gaped. “Who is he marrying?”

Caitlin’s slight pause told Brody she was making this up as she went. “My twin sister.”

“No!” Auntie Shark and Cara shouted at the same time.

The horror in that one word twisted his heart. He’d experienced the same shock, disbelief, and… hurt. He knew the question— Why, Caitlin?— was echoing in Cara’s head the way it had resounded in his. He patted her hand. Not much support, but this was all he could give her. They were in this together, or they would be if she agreed to be his temporary fiancée.

“You can’t be serious.” Auntie Shark appeared shocked.

“I’m afraid so.” Caitlin sniffled. “They’ve been secretly dating. I don’t know how long this has been going on, but they attended the Academy Awards together last year when I was sick. Maybe it started then. I’m trying to be happy for them. I was at the bridal salon to try on bridesmaid dresses, but it’s… hard. The two people I love most in this world betrayed me in the worst possible way.” She wiped her eyes with a tissue before she straightened. “And you know, it’s so bizarre how life is imitating art.”

“What do you mean?” Auntie Shark’s tone was sympathetic, but her eyes gleamed with dollar signs. No doubt this exclusive, juicy morsel had thrilled her.

“My new film Trouble in Tulle is about a jilted bride whose groom runs off with her best friend. Everyone should see the movie when it opens this weekend.” Caitlin perked up for a moment, but then, as if on cue, more tears flooded her cheeks. “My sister is… was… my best friend.”

“Oh, no. No. No. No.” Cara’s voice trembled. Her lower lip quivered. “Please tell me this is a sick joke. An early April Fool’s prank. Payback for me making fun of your movie franchise.”

Brody wanted to wipe away her worry. Instead, he shut off the video. “I wish I could.”

Cara stared at his phone. “I don’t know what to say.”

“I know the feeling. It’s like I’m on a roller coaster that won’t stop— only, this ride hasn’t been any fun.” He placed his phone on the old, beat-up trunk that doubled as a coffee table. “I just want it to end.”

“Why would Caitlin do this to me? To us?” The pain in Cara’s voice hurt Brody. “I’ve stayed out of the public eye on purpose. Now she’s pushing me into the spotlight. Can you stop this?”

The hope in Cara’s gaze made him want to say yes, but he couldn’t tell her another lie. “I thought about going to my lawyer, but Caitlin talked me out of it. She said the real-life parallel with the movie is too perfect not to exploit. The show was taped this morning. It’s set to air on Thursday. That gives us time.”

“Time for what?” The lines on Cara’s forehead deepened. “My sister has lost it.”
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 6967-7005). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Everything gets totally out of control as they make like they are planning their wedding. Every time they turn around there are cameras as Cait does the unthinkable and tips off the paparazzi.

I absolutely love the way this romance plays out. Brody and Cara are truly made for each other. The question is will they realize it too.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Love on the Slopes

There are many factors in this one, the first being their past. Brynn did Ryland a favor he thought was something altogether different and bragged about it, causing her embarrassment. Then he was injured and has been off the circuit and reevaluating his life choices.

Brynn has lost her focus, the issues she has can’t be discussed with anyone associated with the team. The coaches have asked Ryland to work with Brynn to get her back on track. To say she’s not happy is an understatement.

This is a favorite scene.

Guyer pushed one of the two coffee cups on the table toward her. “For you. Two sugars and a dash of cream.”

That was how she drank hers. Her mouth watered, but she squinted. “Never saw you as the stalker type.”

“I’m usually being stalked,” he admitted. “But you can learn almost anything in less than five minutes on the internet. Your favorite color is orange?”

“Yes, the brighter the better.” Brynn sipped her coffee. The liquid was hot and sweet, the way she liked it. “Why did you go to the trouble to do a search on me?”

“If we’re going to work together—”

“Stop.” She raised her left hand, palm facing him. “Neither of us wants to work together, so let’s not pretend otherwise.”

He didn’t contradict her. Brynn wasn’t surprised, but she didn’t appreciate the sting of disappointment that came out of the blue. “Give me some advice now, and we’ll call it good.”

“That’s not what Coach has in mind.”

“He’ll never know.”

“Yes, he will.”

Guyer tapped his fingers on the table. His nails were clean and in better shape than hers. Then again, he’d been modeling, according to her roommate, Lila Raines, so maybe manicures were part of his photo shoot prep.

“Coach knows everything,” Guyer added.

Far from it. Frederick might know skiing, but he was clueless about other stuff. But no one else knew that except Brynn.

She wrapped her hand around the coffee cup. The warmth didn’t take away the chill. “The coaches want to say they did everything they could before I’m cut from the team. Everyone knows I don’t meet the selection criteria for a nomination. My only hope is a coach’s discretion spot.”

She expected Guyer to show a sign of relief— he’d avoided her over the years the way she had him— but his expression didn’t change.

He picked up his coffee. “I didn’t know until this morning.”

“You haven’t been around.”

“I’m here now.” He raised his coffee. “Don’t make this a wasted trip for me. My dad let me take the company jet so I could fly direct and bypass the drive from Boise.”

“Rough life.”

“Doesn’t suck.” Ry took a sip. “So Coach said you’re not injured. That means something’s going on in your head. Have any idea what?”

“Everyone who’s tried to help me has come up empty.” Of course, she hadn’t told them the reason she’d lost her focus. She’d promised her mother not to tell anyone and hadn’t. Couldn’t. “We’re talking sports psychologists, counselors, coaches. The best around.”

A part of Brynn wished someone could help her, but telling the truth might get her kicked off the team faster than having poor race results. She didn’t dare.

“Why do you think you can do better?” she asked.

“Don’t know if I can, but Coach wants me to try. If you’re not interested, that’s fine, but I won’t lie to him about what we’re doing.”

“Why not? You used to lie all the time.” His lies had been infamous and used in a drinking game. Something to joke and laugh about until he’d spread lies about the two of them having sex. Suddenly, people viewed her differently. And not in a good way.

Denying the rumors had made her appear guilty and heartbroken over Ry-Guy. Granted, only the younger guys had expected her to put out, but she hadn’t appreciated the curious looks she’d received from others, including the team staff.

Guyer’s mouth tightened. “I don’t do a lot of things I used to do.”

Her curiosity piqued, she drank more coffee to keep from asking him questions.

“What happened in Åre?” he asked.

His question about the race in Sweden was unexpected. Unwelcome, too.

Memories careened through her head like a possessed jackhammer, the noise more deafening than the cheering crowds at the finish line. “I had a bad run.”

“More than one. You were DQ’d in multiple events.”

She stared into her cup. “Everyone has a bad competition.”

“You’ve had an off season.”

Her muscles tensed, knotting themselves like the tangled fringe on her old scarf. She’d had a chance to finish on the podium at Lake Louise the week before Åre but hadn’t. Her loss caused “Dad” to go off on her. She’d tried her entire life to prove herself to Sully, to earn his love, to make him as proud of her as he was of her hockey-playing brothers. At least she’d discovered why pleasing him had been an impossible task. Sully wasn’t her biological father.

“I’m doing the best I can,” she said finally.

“You believe that?”

“No.” She might be withholding the truth, but she wasn’t a liar. “Or I wouldn’t be here with you.”

A smile spread across Guyer’s face. “A sense of humor is good, but so is being focused. I watched a few clips of your recent races. You’ve lost your focus.”

“Yes.” But she couldn’t say why. Brynn gnawed on her lower lip.

“Do you want to stay on the team?” he asked.

“Yes.” The word catapulted from her mouth. “More than anything.”

Doubt filled his gaze.

“It’s true.” She sounded defensive and on guard, exactly how she felt. “I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“Does that include working with me?”

Brynn didn’t reply. Instead, she sipped her coffee.
Melissa McClone. One Night to Forever Box Set (Kindle Locations 10041-10094). Cardinal Press, LLC.

As the days pass, the attraction between them grows. Brynn has to come to terms with her emotions and future on the team, difficult as it may be.

Fun, intriguing, emotional, and romantic. You won’t want to put this one down.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!


Individually
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

The Proper Princess – Her Royal Duty Book 3 By Melissa McClone



The Proper Princess
Her Royal Duty Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

She’s been a proper princess—
but she wants to rebel.

After the death of her fiancé, Princess Madeleine knows a loveless, arranged marriage awaits her. She’s resigned to her fate until she meets her intended husband. Crown Prince Enrique is gorgeous, but he comes on way too strong, says the wrong things, and fumbles with apologies. He’s more court jester than Prince Charming. How can she marry him?

Enrique might be self-centered and lack social skills, but he’s trying to do better—for himself, his country, and his future wife. Despite their royal union being a political necessity, he wants his marriage with the captivating Madeleine to be a love match. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to woo her. How hard can it be to win his princess bride’s heart?

Nearly impossible, he discovers, because Madeleine seems unwilling—or unable—to give him her heart. On their wedding day, instead of exchanging vows, will the royal couple say goodbye?

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Princess Madeline is still heartbroken five years after her fiancé’s death. Now circumstances are such that an arranged marriage is necessary to save their kingdom.

Crown Prince Enrique has had many marriage contracts go awry. The one with Princess Juliana ended with her marrying his brother. Thanks to Parliament he now must wed to ascend the throne. His father needs to retire and is abdicating, but has managed to find another contract. All he can envision is his brother and Jules taking the throne. He’s failed at completing an arrangement so many times because of his feeling of not being able to love.

After messing up royally (pun intended), Enrique calls Jules for advice. His brother Alejandro and Jules have been invaluable in helping him change to be more flexible and personable. He has to apologize and can only hope it is accepted.

This is a favorite scene.

She stood with her shoulders pressed back and head held high. Proper princess posture. “You mentioned touring the grounds earlier.”

“I did, but first, I must apologize.” Enrique forced the words from his dry throat before realizing he was still putting on an act of what he thought she wanted him to be. He took another breath, allowing his posture to relax. “I’m sorry for offending you earlier. I wish I could blame what I said on nerves, but that wasn’t the case. I’m known for saying the wrong things. Not just at the wrong time. Pretty much all the time. I’ve been trying to do better, but I still have a ways to go as you saw today.”

A beat passed. Then another.

He forced himself not to shift his weight between his feet. She was the offended party, not him.

Madeleine raised her chin slightly. “Apology accepted.”

Enrique waited for her to say more, but she didn’t. “May we begin again?”

She nodded.

He extended his arm. “I’m Enrique. Crown prince or court jester depending on the situation.”

A smile tugged at the corners of her lips. She shook his hand. “I’m Madeleine. Proper princess and tour guide extraordinaire.”

His hand was larger, but her grip was stronger than he imagined it would be. Her skin was as soft and smooth as it looked.

She drew her arm to her side, and he missed her warmth.

He stepped out of his room and closed the door behind him. “Lead the way, tour guide.”

As Madeleine headed down the wide hallway, she motioned to various doors they passed. “This is the family wing. There are four guest suites besides my family’s rooms.”

“Do you host many guests?”

“Around the holidays, mainly. There’s also a summer celebration that is popular. Most guests stay on the other side of the castle, though.”

“I’m honored to be near you.”

Her expression didn’t change, but she no longer frowned. That was progress.

She opened a door to a landing and stone staircase. “This will take us to the ground level.”

On either side of the steps were walls of rocks put together like puzzle pieces and held in place by mortar. The castle oozed character, as if part of a movie set.

“Is this original?” he asked.

“Yes.” She didn’t slow her pace. “The exterior looks the same as it has for centuries albeit maintained by the staff and updated as necessary.”

He ran his hand along the rocks to his right. The stone was worn smooth. “If these walls could talk.”

She glanced over her shoulder with a surprised gaze. “They might have stories to tell. This was the escape route for the royal family when the castle was attacked. That happened a few times with past generations.”

“When we are on the island, I’ll show you what my family used.”

“I— I’d like that.” Her voice was hesitant, but that was better than disgusted. More progress.

The staircase led to a small grassy area enclosed by another wall— this one taller. He followed her to a massive iron gate. “Is this to keep the royal family in or others out?”

“I daresay both.” She sounded as if she were smiling. “When we were children, Karl was known for getting into mischief.”

“What about you?”

She shrugged. “Someone had to behave.”

That sounded like Jules. Did Madeleine have a secret passion as his sister-in-law had? He would ask once they were getting along better.

He followed her out of the gate to a landscaped area with clipped hedges, stone walkways, and verdant shrubbery. “This is breathtaking.”

She glanced around as if seeing the grounds for the first time. “It is. I take the beauty for granted or remember when snow covers everything during the winter.”

“The weather is harsher than on the island.”

Madeleine nodded. “I’ve lived here for twenty-seven years so I’m used to it. Sunshine and blue skies overhead for most of the year will be different.”

Her words held no anticipation. No excitement. No happiness.

Yes, this was an arranged marriage, but her lack of emotion bothered him. “Will you miss Gaullia?”

“I’ve always known this place wouldn’t be my home forever.”

She hadn’t answered the question. Not exactly. But he wouldn’t push. Not until he knew where he stood with her.

“Would you like to see the garden?” she asked.

“Yes, please.”
Melissa McClone. The Proper Princess ARC (Kindle Locations 727-772). Cardinal Press, LLC.

As Madeline shows Enrique the gardens, they both learn about each other. Be prepared to sniffle a bit. All is not well though as the wedding day approaches, and Enrique finds he has a desire for a love match.

I love the way this relationship very gradually progresses. Both fighting their demons and their responsibilities.

I would really like to see the other Crown Princes meet their matches, even though their kingdoms have been saved by their sisters.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!


Melissa McClone

USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published over forty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters.

Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!