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New Series! Cupcakes and Crumbs – Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 1 By Melissa McClone


Cupcakes and Crumbs
Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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After life takes five women on different paths, a death brings them home. But friendship might not be enough to keep them together.

When Bria Landon and her estranged father each inherit fifty percent of a small-town cupcake shop, her dad hires her worst enemy, and first love, to turn the place into a soulless franchise…or sell it.

To save her aunt’s legacy, Bria needs the help of people who love the bakery as much as she does—her old friends who worked there fifteen years ago. Except each woman is dealing with her own problem.

Juliet fears her marriage is about to crumble. She’s in panic mode, trying to prove she’s more than a trophy wife.

Since her husband’s death nine years ago, working in the cupcake shop has saved Missy. Now, she might lose the job she loves.

Despite Nell’s insistence she’s happy being single, her meddling mom won’t stop playing matchmaker.

And life coach Selena has found fame and fortune fixing everyone else’s lives. Something, however, is missing in hers, and she hasn’t a clue what it might be.

They want to believe their friendship can overcome anything. But as the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse reunite to save their beloved cupcake shop, they soon discover the undertaking will bring more trouble than they expected.

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In this first book of the series we get to meet the individuals that make up the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse. This isn’t newly formed, rather it was a name given to the group when they worked at the cupcake shop together years ago.

As this book opens Elise Landon, the owner of the Berry Lake Cupcake Shop has lost her battle with Cancer. Her niece Bria has been with her, caring for her and keeping the business running. It’s Elise’s birthday and Bria isn’t sure if the employees would want to continue the usual birthday celebration at the shop. First we meet Missy Hanford, she never left Berry Lake and is now the baker and manager of the Cupcake shop. As Bria looks at the old photo of ‘the posse’ she remembers them all, Nell Culpepper is now a nurse at the local hospital, Juliet Monroe recently moved back with her wealthy husband, and Selena T, is a successful life coach married to a professional hockey player but lives in Seattle.

We get to see a lot of each of these women but the main story is Bria and the fate of the Cupcake shop. It seems Elise has left half of the coffee shop to her brother, Bria’s father. Bria has many conversations about this turn of events, including a get together of the cupcake posse. These woman need to come together more often and promise to do so, we also get a closer look at Juliet’s marriage which isn’t what she pretends it is.

A big turning point in the story is the meeting Bria has with her father the day after the will is read. He brings in a consultant, a real estate consultant. Dalton Dwyer, the man who when they were seniors in high school, broke her heart and caused his friends and others to bully her for the rest of the year.

This is a favorite scene.

Bria had only picked at her food until Dalton arrived. No way would she be able to eat more now. With her stomach churning so much, Bria felt physically ill. She pushed her plate toward the server. “I am.”

As soon as the server picked up the plates, Dalton removed two glossy folders.

Not to be outdone, Bria pulled out her analysis and gave it to her dad. “I didn’t know my father had hired anyone, so I only made one copy.”

Her dad laughed. “You both came prepared.”

She placed her hand on top of her knee to keep it from bouncing. “That’s what this meeting is about.”

“I put together the options we discussed to bring Bria up to date.” He handed her a folder. “See what you think.”

Bria opened it and nearly gasped at the table of contents. This information wasn’t something thrown together after a quick phone call with her dad yesterday. She closed the cover. “How long have you been working on this?”

“Almost two months.”

She’d had no reason to doubt what Charlene had said, but Dalton’s answer was proof. The fact her father had hired a guy before mentioning anything to her was an added betrayal.

Oh, Aunt Elise, he’s played you and me.

As Bria’s temper shot into the red zone, she took a breath and then stared at her father. “Why did you act surprised when Marc read the will? You knew Aunt Elise left you half of the cupcake shop, yet pretended as if you didn’t.”

Her father shrugged. “I realized you didn’t know, or you would have reached out before.”

“Before?”

“Before Elise died.”

Bria balled her fists. “I would have never discussed that before Aunt Elise was gone. I only talked about the cupcake shop with Missy after Elise went into hospice. It would have been inappropriate.”

Her father’s face went blank. “Someone needs to be reasonable about the cupcake shop.”

“Reasonable?” She lowered her voice and opened the folder. “Franchise opportunities. Building sale assessment. Nowhere do I see anything that says continue running the cupcake shop as Aunt Elise wanted.”

“Elise didn’t want to sell the shop?” Dalton asked, sounding surprised.

“No,” Bria said sharply. “She wanted Missy Hanford to manage and upgrade the shop. If you look at my analysis, you’ll see a breakdown of the costs as well as projected profits. It’s doable, and we’d both receive a decent monthly income after expenses.”

Dalton skimmed the pages she’d provided, but his face remained neutral. “You never mentioned keeping the cupcake shop, Brian.”

Her dad’s face flushed. “Elise is dead. Bria and I don’t live in Berry Lake. We can’t keep the cupcake shop operating as it is today. Besides, the value is in the building.”

Bria wanted to know her father’s intentions. Well, he’d laid them out as clear as the water in Berry Lake come springtime. It was as she feared— he didn’t care about the shop and her aunt’s legacy— but that didn’t stop her stomach from sinking and her aching heart to feel as if it had been used as a punching bag.

Dalton stared over her report. “Your father told me keeping the shop wasn’t an option.”

Of course, he did. “It’s the only option for me.”

Her dad rolled his eyes. “Be reasonable, Bria.”

“I am one hundred percent reasonable.” She kept her voice even. “You’re almost sixty. Social security payments will only go so far. You don’t have a 401K, but do you have a Roth IRA or a SEP? We can structure profit payments any way you want. Monthly or weekly, even.”

“I’d rather have my proceeds from selling the building, invest it, and double my money.”

So typical. “You could lose it all.”

His chin jutted forward. “That’s a chance I’m willing to take.”

Bria sat back in her chair. “I wonder what Elise would say.”

Her father did a double take. “Excuse me?”

“According to Charlene Culpepper, the only reason Elise left you fifty percent was to bring us closer.”

“She may have mentioned that.”

“You’re the one who called her and suggested she do this. It was you. Not her.”

Fear flashed in her father’s eyes, but a second later, he was back in control, sipping his coffee.

Bria had to get this out. “How can you talk about selling and investing and being okay with losing what she spent her life creating? Do you think she would have rewritten her will if she thought you would sell the building or franchise the bakery?”

A vein ticced at his jaw.

Bria didn’t expect him to answer. “You’ve ignored everything Elise wanted you to do. Instead of reaching out to me two months ago, you hired the one person I never wanted to see again. You act as if you’re doing this for me when it’s only about you.”

Dalton shifted, appearing uncomfortable. “Bria—”

“I’m sorry my father dragged you into this.” She looked at her father. “Aunt Elise wanted Missy to keep the cupcake shop going, and that’s what I will make sure happens with or without you.”

Her father’s face hardened. “Fifty percent of the cupcake shop belongs to me.”

“It will, but it doesn’t yet,” she countered.

“I have an idea.” Dalton flashed a tight smile. “Why don’t I review your numbers with your dad? In the meantime, gather up any blueprints or proposals you have on the upgrades Elise intended to make. We can meet tomorrow to discuss everything. Say at two o’clock at the cupcake shop?”

Bria had no idea where the plans were, but maybe Missy knew. “Fine.”

“Read what Dalton gave you.” Tight lines formed around her father’s mouth.

Her father handed her his report. Now she had two of them.

“It’s only polite after the work he put into this,” her father added.

A waste of time, too, but… “I can do that.”

“We’ll see you tomorrow,” her dad said.

Bria shoved the shiny folder into her laptop bag, left the other one for her dad, removed a twenty from her purse, and tossed it onto the table. She had no idea what kind of game her father was playing or what Dalton’s role in this was, but she didn’t trust either of them. No matter what it took, she would protect her aunt’s legacy from both men.
Melissa McClone. Cupcakes & Crumbs (Kindle Locations 2181-2241). Cardinal Press, LLC.

So much happens in this book, and it really takes off after that meeting. Dalton himself proves to be a surprise but there is so much more going on especially with Juliet and her husband.

Lot’s of laughter, tears, suspense and family drama in this book. I also have to wonder about Dalton and Bria as they start getting close again.

There are other couples we see in this book as well. Jenny and Dare, Hope and Josh, Sheridan and Michael they are all in the Indigo Bay Books. Links below.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Coming Soon!

Tiaras & Teapots

Melissa’s Books In Indigo Bay
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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!

Sweet Yuletide – Indigo Bay Christmas Romances Book 4 By Melissa McClone


Sweet Yuletide
Indigo Bay Christmas Romances Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

One beach cottage,
two strangers,
and a secret that could ruin everything…

Sheridan DeMarco would rather be anywhere than home for the holidays. Housesitting in South Carolina, far away from her new and chaotic blended family, sounds like the perfect way to spend Christmas. Until she arrives and realizes she isn’t as blissfully alone as she thought she would be…

Michael “Mikey” Patterson has a secret, one that requires him to stay out of sight until his attorney gives him the all clear. He finds the anonymity he needs in a small coastal town, but there’s a problem. Mikey isn’t the only one at the charming beach cottage, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful roommate named Sheridan who pushes all of his buttons.

All it takes is a sprig of mistletoe and one memorable kiss to make Sheridan and Mikey forget their plans to stay away from each other. But when his secret is revealed, can their newfound bond outlive the holiday season? Or will their happily ever after get tossed out with the discarded wrapping paper, ribbons, and tinsel?

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In spite of the seriousness of the situation I almost had to laugh as Michael ‘Mikey’ Patterson faces off with his family. Thinking he needs an intervention because he now has two phones, he’s jobless, crashing on friends couches, being very secretive and now he wants to spend Christmas alone. Michael’s secret is a big one, he’s won a huge lottery and is going through a process to both help and protect his family. His state allows him to claim the prize anonymously and that’s how he’s handling this. However a video of people buying tickets has surfaced and his team recommends leaving town for a while.

Sheridan manages the only gallery in her hometown for her father, she also lives in the apartment above it. After a disastrous Thanksgiving dinner where she up and left in the middle, she’s waiting for the confrontation with her father. This confrontation occurs on the Saturday after, and what he does totally shocks her. He not only fires her, he informs her that Remy, his stepdaughter would be taking her job and her apartment. He’s giving her three days to vacate and has the audacity to tell her she has to train Remy. I have to say I was glad she quit on the spot, handing him the gallery keys and refusing to train anyone.

When Hope calls and asks Sheridan to housesit in Indigo Bay over the Christmas holiday, she jumps at the chance. She can use the time to regroup and be far away from the pity and rumors of Berry Creek. In exchange Sheridan would be cataloging Hope’s artwork and delivering a painting to be auctioned at a fundraiser.

Van who is marrying Michael’s sister, offers him the house in exchange for preparing stuff for the family New Year’s celebration. The location is perfect for Michael to be away and not have to constantly lie about things.

I really got a kick out of their first meeting in the cottage and the subsequent making of rules. However it’s as Sheridan finds she can’t transport the painting to the venue in her rental that begins a shift in the rules.

This is a favorite scene.

Sheridan headed to the framed seascape of Indigo Bay, hanging on the far wall where Hope told her the oil painting would be. The view appeared to be from the back deck. The sun’s position suggested morning. The picture captured the beach grass blowing in the breeze so realistically, she almost felt the wind against her skin. Two dogs ran across the sand near the waves rolling to shore.

Beautiful.

The piece should raise a lot of money for the animal rescue.

In the closet, she found the carton and materials she needed. A few minutes later, she carried the box outside, but unlike the SUV crossover she drove in Berry Lake, the four-door rental car’s interior and trunk were both too small for the painting to fit.

What should I do?

Sheridan noticed Michael’s much bigger SUV. It was older, in need of a wash, but big enough to fit the painting. Yes, they’d agreed to keep their distance, but this was— not an emergency— but a way to help a person who was helping her. If he said no, she would see which ride app was cheapest in Indigo Bay.

She returned inside and placed the box against the wall near the entryway. A glance down the hallway showed Michael’s closed door, but music played. Not Christmas carols, but what sounded like classic rock. He must be awake because no one could sleep through that.

She knocked.

“Come in,” he called out.

Sheridan did and froze.

He was in bed. A blue-plaid comforter covered part of his bare chest. Okay, this was his room, not common space, but this was the third time she’d seen him, and twice he’d been shirtless.

He yawned. “Hey.”

His voice sounded sleepy, matching his bed hair that made him look even hotter.

What was wrong with her? She couldn’t blame thinking of him this way on jet lag. “Sorry if I woke you. I heard the music, so I thought you were up.”

“I’ve been hitting the snooze button for a while.” He sat, sending the comforter onto his lap. “What’s up?”

Oh, no. She stared at him as if she were seeing a man’s bare chest for the first time. She’d seen this view yesterday, too. But she had to admit his broad, muscular shoulders appealed to her more than those of the men who hung out at Berry Lake’s public beach.

Not helping.

She glanced around the room, trying to focus on anything except him. Her gaze landed on a Charleston RiverDogs bobblehead.

“Sheridan?” he asked.

“I need you.” As soon as the words left her mouth, she cringed. She hadn’t meant to say that. “Your help. I need your help. With Hope’s painting. The box won’t fit in my rental car. Your SUV looks big enough.”

Ugh. She was rambling. Time to try again. “Would you mind driving me to the B and B this morning? It isn’t far.”

If only she’d started with that.

No biggie. In less than two weeks, she would never see him again.

“Do you want to go now?”

“Yes.” The word shot out of her mouth. “I mean, sometime today. I’d like to get it dropped off sooner rather than later, but there’s no rush.”

As she pressed her lips together, she wondered about the odds of a hole opening and her falling inside. That might be a less painful way to go than facing Michael’s scrutiny. Something about him disarmed her. That wasn’t like her.

“Sure.” He dragged his hand through his hair. “Let me take a quick shower first.”

“Great. I’ll wait in the living room, but don’t rush.” She hated bothering him and asking for his help, so she didn’t want him to feel pressured. “We can go whenever you’re ready.”

Wicked laughter lit his eyes.

Her muscles bunched in anticipation of being teased or cut down. Deena and her minions had done that ever since the wedding. Sheridan had wanted to escape from that in Indigo Bay, but she would put up with anything Michael threw at her so she wouldn’t disappoint Hope.

“I won’t be long,” he said. “I’ll just need two sips of coffee before we leave.”

Wait. That was… it?

She waited for the punchline— him saying negative stuff about her.

His forehead creased. “Is there something you want to say?”

“Thanks.” As the word tumbled out of her mouth, the tension evaporated from her body.

“You’re welcome.”

Sheridan remained frozen in place, but she didn’t know why.

“Anything else?” he asked.

“Enjoy your shower.” No, that wasn’t right. She would try again. “How do you like your coffee?”
Melissa McClone. Sweet Yuletide (Kindle Locations 700-738). Cardinal Press, LLC.

From the venue, to breakfast and shopping these two start to get to know each other.

As they plan a real Christmas the fun begins and Mistletoe plays a part in getting them together. Of course nothing is going to go as planned and they both face a challenge to their beliefs. All on top of Michael’s BIG Secret!

I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful Christmas story.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

The Indigo Bay Christmas Romances
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Coming Soon!

Melissa’s Books In Indigo Bay
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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 Tycoon: An Opposites Attract Romance – A Keeper Book 6 by Melissa McClone


The Tycoon: An Opposites Attract Romance
A Keeper Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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A brooding CEO,
a loving dog handler,
and a grandmother with a plan….

Tender-hearted Becca Taylor wants to put the past behind her and start fresh. Thanks to her new job caring for the dogs of a very wealthy family, she can do just that. When the feisty matriarch asks her to join in a business venture, Becca believes her goals are within reach. Now, all she has to do is convince her partner’s grandson that their plan is solid. Too bad he hates her on sight.

Caleb Fairchild will do anything to keep his heart and his family safe—which is why the beautiful Becca must go. Her eagerness to help his grandmother is suspicious, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of her motives. However, when the truth surfaces about Becca’s past, Caleb fears he may have misjudged her.

Despite being stark opposites, Becca and Caleb’s attraction grows. Unfortunately, Caleb’s lack of trust keeps getting in the way. Can they overcome their obstacles or will the past keep them from having all of their dreams come true?

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Becca Taylor is a hardworking dog handler, she takes care of all of Gertie’s dogs both show dogs and fosters. Gertie is the owner and retired researcher of a very successful skin care company and with Becca’s help she’s now developed products for her dogs. She wants her company to produce and market it but her grandson Caleb, who is the CEO wants nothing to do with it. They are launching her new baby products and frankly dogs are not humans and would only distract from the company’s focus.

Gertie also has a sort of plan throwing Caleb and Becca together. She thinks they’d be a good match, opposites for sure, but Caleb needs someone to break him out of his self-imposed shell. He’d been conned before and he wouldn’t ever let that happen to him again.

Becca has a goal to become a top dog handler, the launch of the dog care products would do much to finance that. Caleb squashed that but Gertie stepped up and said they’d start their own company for it. Now Becca’s writing a business plan and Caleb is helping but also investigating her. He doesn’t like what he finds.

When he confronts her, he realizes he was wrong about her motives but still has doubts.

This is a favorite scene after that conversation.

Another employee walked by them— the third in the last five minutes. Caleb greeted him by name. “You impressed us with those new label designs, Anthony. Great work.”

“Thank you so much.” The older man with gray hair and wire-rimmed glasses stood two inches taller. He strode away with a proud grin on his face.

“Do you know every single person who works here?” she asked.

“No, but people wear badges,” Caleb said. “That helps with the names.”

Considerate of him, even though he’d accused her of stealing from Gertie. “The employees seem to appreciate your effort.”

“They work hard.” He opened a glass door for her. “It’s the least I can do.”

“Thanks.”

The first time they’d met, his manners had impressed Becca. He impressed her now, despite his accusations. But Caleb Fairchild was the same as every other rich guy. She wouldn’t be taken in by him.

She headed outside into bright daylight and stifling heat, even though it was after seven at night. “The temperature hasn’t dropped at all.”

Two construction workers wearing paint-splattered coveralls and carrying hard hats approached them with tired smiles.

Caleb removed his suit jacket and draped it over his left arm. “Welcome to summer in Boise.”

A neon green food truck idled curbside with a line of customers waiting. The scent of garlic and rosemary filled the air.

Becca’s mouth watered. Through the window, she stared at the noodles and pork being plated.

“Hungry?” Caleb asked.

“A little.” She hadn’t eaten lunch.

“Whatever they’re cooking smells good.”

“It does.”

A siren wailed.

Goose bumps covered her skin. She hated sirens. The sound brought back memories she didn’t want to remember.

Hearing the click of handcuffs lock around her wrists, sitting in a police car, and experiencing the heartbreak of betrayal.

Becca crossed her arms in front of her chest and forced herself to keep walking.

She wished she would forget. She wished others would forget, too. She wished people trusted her.

Not just people. A person. Caleb.

The realization disturbed her as much as the siren.

His opinion shouldn’t— didn’t— matter. If she kept repeating that, she might finally believe it.

Stop thinking about him!

The sound faded into the distance.

She lowered her arms and pointed to a white sign, ten feet in front of them. “This is where I catch the bus.”

Caleb looked around at the few people waiting. “Let me drive you to the Park and Ride lot. I’ll follow you to my grandmother’s place, and we can have dinner.”

Becca’s breath caught in her throat. She opened her mouth to speak, except no words came out. She tried again. “Thank you, but there’s no need for you to go to so much trouble.”

“I have to eat, too.” He whipped out his cell phone. “I’ll see if Grams has eaten.”

Dinner with Gertie, not a date with Caleb.

Becca should be relieved, not disappointed. The guy had serious doubts about her. He was everything she didn’t want in a man. He was likely asking her to make amends. Of course, she’d never said yes.

He flashed his phone, showing her a text exchange. “Mrs. Harrison was going to warm up leftovers for Grams, but she would rather have pizza. Does that sound good?”

“Yes.” The word escaped before Becca could stop it.

Ugh. She knew better. On the bright side, Gertie would be thrilled to have her grandson there again, and Becca wouldn’t have to worry about making dinner tonight.

He typed on his phone. Messages pinged. “We’re all set. Grams will have the pizza delivered.”

Becca glanced at the bus stop before looking at him. “Back to Fair Face.”

“My car is in the parking lot next door.”

“Gertie said parking was available beneath the building.”

“There is.”

This made no sense. “Why aren’t you parked there?”

“I prefer to let the employees and visitors use the closer spots.”

Becca didn’t want to like him. But she did, despite a growing list of reasons she shouldn’t. The guy took his responsibilities seriously.

She sneaked a peek at his profile. So handsome and strong and determined.

A few minutes later, Caleb opened the door leading to a bank of elevators. Cool air blasted her. She stepped inside and waited for him to join her.

“Please don’t think you have to add me to your list.”

“What list?”

“The list of people and things you take care of.”

His eyes widened, and his lips parted. Shock turned to confusion, followed by a blank expression. “What do you mean?”

He might be better at poker than she thought. If Becca hadn’t been paying attention, she would have missed the play of emotion across his face. “It seems like you’re responsible for your grandmother, your sister, Fair Face, and your employees. I don’t want you to think I need someone to take care of me, too.”

“I don’t. You seem capable of caring for yourself.”

She nodded. “But it makes me wonder.”

“What?”

“Who takes care of you?”
Melissa McClone. The Tycoon (Kindle Locations 1289-1339). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Caleb has relationship issues as does Becca. However Becca has moved forward while Caleb’s still kind of stuck.

I love the dogs and the shows, the way Becca helps Gertie build the pet product business and most of all the way this relationship builds. With plenty of ups and downs and I love the groveling.

I can’t wait to see what Melissa comes up with 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 Date: An Online Dating Romance – A Keeper Series Book 5 by Melissa McClone


The Date: An Online Dating Romance
A Keeper Series Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

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One tech entrepreneur,
one blonde bombshell,
and two rival dating sites…

When Dani Bennett lands a new marketing job, she can’t wait to prove herself. But her excitement fizzles when her new boss insists she create an online dating profile to spy on the competition. Quitting isn’t an option; she needs the money. Now, she must meet the charming guy who’s been messaging her. Dani, however, has played this game before. She knows exactly what he’s after—what they’re all after. It’s a good thing she has a foolproof plan to keep her date from being interested in her.

Bryce Delaney works hard to keep scammers from infiltrating his dating website. He’ll do anything to keep his clients and his company safe, like asking a potential corporate spy to meet him for coffee. When the woman turns out to be more hobo than hottie, he’s intrigued. She has no idea he founded the dating website, and he plans to keep it that way until he can uncover her agenda.

As one date leads to another, sparks fly. Dani knows a relationship built on lies will never work, but she’s not the only one with a secret. Will the truth bring her and Bryce closer or send them back online to find someone else to love?

Note:
This is a revised, expanded version of a book previously published as ‘Dream Date with the Millionaire’.

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Dani used to love her profession, but her current job wasn’t at all what she wanted. She took this job in desperation, she had her mother’s medical insurance and sister’s tuition to help with.

Her boss James, had her sign up on a competitor’s dating site but so far she hadn’t gone on a date. She did however make a couple of friends. Tired of all the subterfuge she confesses to her friends she’s a spy on the sight. This sets off red flags and Bryce, the CEO of BlindDateBrides, immediately takes action. He sends a message to her under his seldom used profile ‘Big Brother’ with an interesting question.

Dani never had any intention of going out with any of the guys who messaged her, but with this one she actually replied instead of brushing him off. She happened to get another response when she checked the site at work and her boss heard her laughter.

Now he’s upping the ante, go out with some of them or get fired.

With coffee arranged with Big Brother, and a dinner date with someone named GymGuy she resigns herself to some first dates.

Now coffee with Big Brother, aka Bryce, turned out to be fun and she found herself wanting to see more of him. First she had to deal with GymGuy.

This is a favorite scene.

Once upon a time, she had a fabulous job, a sporty new car, and a one-bedroom apartment with a peek of the San Francisco Bay out her living room window, and a reserved parking spot.

Now she was dating strangers to get information her boss wanted.

She reached past her wineglass to her water and drank.

Dani hated to be going out with anyone like this. Relationships needed to be founded on honesty if they were to last. That was the healthy way to meet someone and fall for them. Unlike building a foundation on lies and half-truths. If she fell for any man from the website, she would have to come clean at some point, and people would get hurt.

“So”— Gregg raised his wineglass—“ you’re a lot better looking than your photograph.”

“I hoped guys might read my profile instead of judging me by a picture.”

“That’s what I did.” His gaze dropped from her face to her chest. “Smart move, for sure.”

Bummer. Dani’s clothes— a skirt, blouse, and sweater— fit loosely to hide her curves, but he’d glimpsed enough to capture his attention. She should have worn the baggy sweats instead.

Gregg stared as if he had see-through clothing vision. “Though you’d probably get more takers if you mentioned you had such nice melons in your profile.”

Dani choked. Coughed. Wiped her mouth with her napkin.

O-kay. So much for him being polite.

But she’d learned how to deal with men like him. Learned all too well.

With her napkin back on her lap, she straightened. “Stick to the macadamia nuts. You can’t handle the melons.”

His mouth gaped. He closed it.

“I sure would like to if you’ll give me a chance.” Gregg leaned over the table toward her, and she noticed how his eyes were beady like a sewer rat. “My place is walking distance from here. Why don’t we skip dinner, head over there, and go straight to dessert?”

She bit back a sigh.

So typical.

And to think she’d been plagued by guilt for using him to get information when he wanted to use her for sex. At least Bryce had been a gentleman at the café.

Gregg raised an eyebrow and puckered his lips slightly. “You know you want to go to my apartment with me.”

Jerk. She bypassed the water and sipped from her wineglass. No sense wasting an expensive bottle.

Or the opportunity. Although lowering herself to his level left a bitter taste in her mouth.

Consider it market research, she told herself. Or morbid curiosity. “Do you do this a lot?”

“Depends on your definition of a lot, but I can squeeze you in with my busy schedule.” He sipped his wine. “We will be so good together.”

She should have gone out with Bryce instead of this wannabe, who gave players a bad name. “In bed, you mean?”

“Where else?” Gregg took another drink. “Women say they’re looking for a long-term commitment on their profiles, but secretly they want an adventure. All they need is the right man to lead the way.”

“You’ve figured this out on your own?”

“All by myself.” His smug smile returned. “Are you ready for an adventure, Dani?”

Gregg reached across the table, past the flickering votive candle, past the bud vase containing a Gerbera daisy, past her hand, to stroke the juncture of her chest with his fingertip.

Disgust sent her flying back. She nearly fell. As she jerked to her feet, her chair crashed to the floor.

The restaurant was dead quiet. Customers stared. The waitstaff, too.

She didn’t care. “What are you doing?”

“I’m giving you what you want.”

“What I want?” Dani’s blood pressure soared. His words took her back to high school, where the boys elbowed each other and propositioned her when she passed by them. She’d ignored their taunts even though it hurt because she wanted to be part of the popular crowd. She was older, wiser now. No need to fit in with people she never liked. “What I want is for you to crawl back into the hole you slithered out of.”

“You’re a feisty one, aren’t you?” He raised his eyebrows up and down as if performing a bizarre mating call. “Women who play hard to get are usually good in bed.”

“You’ll never know.” She picked up her glass of water and tossed the contents on his lap. “That should cool you off.”

Gregg jumped up, grabbed a napkin, and patted himself. “Why, you little—”

“Is there a problem?”

The male voice came from behind. She turned.

Bryce.

Surprise and a flash of joy skittered through Dani. Her mouth went dry. She’d been thinking about him tonight. Now he was here, looking gorgeous in a brown suit and concerned about her.

She gloried in the moment, a wide grin on her face.

And then she remembered.

She wasn’t alone. Her cheeks burned.

Dani glanced at a red-faced Gregg, frantically drying the front of his pants and muttering to himself.

“Are you okay?” Bryce asked.

The tenderness of his voice eased some of her humiliation. She stared up at him. So handsome. So strong.

He had a looking-for-a-fight gleam in his eyes. His desire to protect pleased her.
Melissa McClone. The Date: An Online Dating Romance (Kindle Locations 855-929). Cardinal Press, LLC.

In spite of the fact that he is investigating Dani’s comment on his site, Bryce couldn’t help being attracted to this funny, intelligent woman. He just has to figure out why she’s on the site.

Plenty of romance, intrigue and some sizzle as this tale unfolds. Truly a delightful read.

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 Husband: A Marriage of Convenience – A Keeper Book 4 by Melissa McClone


The Husband: A Marriage of Convenience
A Keeper Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

One couple, a pending divorce,
and a baby who needs a family…

No matter how hard Kate Malone strives to be perfect, everyone she’s ever loved leaves. She foolishly believed “I do” meant “forever.” Now, her wedding ring is in a jewelry box, and she’s alone once again. But when Kate and her soon-to-be ex-husband become the sole guardians of an infant, divorce is not an option with a new baby counting on them.

Jared Reed loves Kate more than anything—even if he did push her too far. Now he’s determined to keep his promises to his best friends and especially to his wife. A marriage of convenience sounds rather inconvenient, but Jared will do whatever it takes to get Kate back and provide their new little girl with parents who not only love her, but love each other, too.

Parenting brings them closer, but their undeniable attraction makes Kate want to keep her distance. Jared, however, won’t give up on having the family and marriage he wants. Can Jared prove to his wife that he’s the husband she’s always wanted before it’s too late?

NOTE:
This is a revised, expanded version of a book previously published as Marriage for Baby.

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When Kate and Jared meet at the lawyer’s office they are under the assumption that their friends Susan, Brady and their daughter Cassidy had all perish in a car accident. That however was a horrible misunderstanding. Their daughter Cassidy is alive albeit in the hospital recovering from her injuries. Their lawyer explains the situation and the guardianship set up by them. It is their wish that Kate and Jared raise their daughter. There are however stipulations to that guardianship. Kate and Jared must be married otherwise Jared gets full custody.

With their divorce about to be finalized, Kate is devastated that Susan could choose Jared over her should they divorce. Although when she reads the letter Susan left her she understands. Jared’s big family would become Cassidy’s she would always be loved and cared for no matter what. Kate is alone in the world just like Susan was until she married. Now she has to come up with a plan that will work for both herself and Jared so she can have that joint custody.

What she comes up with is a marriage of convenience, they will share the responsibility of Cassidy and things will be like they were before the divorce was filed. With one major exception, there will be no sex.

Once the papers are signed, the guardianship granted and Cassidy discharged from the hospital, they head to Susan and Brady’s home.
They need to go through everything and prepare the home to be sold.

This is a favorite scene as they set off on their journey.

It wasn’t right to take credit for doing what needed to be done. He might use the baby to get his wife back, but Cassidy’s needs were the top priority. “It’s the least I could do. The same as you.”

“We have a steep learning curve ahead of us. Checkups, illnesses, diaper rash. I don’t even want to imagine feeding her solids. What if she’s as picky as Brady?”

We. Not I.

The plan would work. The knots in Jared’s stomach loosened.

“Then we buy a side of beef and learn how to disguise vegetables as candy.” He tapped his thumb against the steering wheel. Soon Cassidy would have a mommy and daddy who lived together and loved each other, too.

“What?” Kate asked.

He shot her a sideward glance. “You sound like a mom.”

“Really?”

The hope in the one word surprised Jared. Kate always appeared so in control, so self-assured with everything, but her hopeful tone made her seem vulnerable and more… real. He liked that. “Yes, you sound like a mom.”

A satisfied expression settled on her face. “That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”

“I had no idea saying that works better than saying you look hot.” He laughed. “I must remember that.”

“Will that be your game plan when you need a night out with the boys?”

He smiled. “More like how to get out of the doghouse.”

She smiled back. “Flowers and chocolate are good for that, too.”

Yes. A point in his favor. Jared would pump his fist, but he was keeping both hands on the wheel. A glance at the rearview mirror showed flashing lights rapidly approaching. A siren grew louder. Jared slowed the car and changed lanes. An ambulance roared past, its siren blaring.

The baby cried.

“She must not like sirens,” he said.

“She might remember the sound and how she hurt after the accident.”

He hadn’t a clue what babies remembered. “That would make sense.”

“It could explain how she doesn’t like being woken up suddenly or with much noise.” Kate reached back. “It’s okay, Cassidy, we’re right here.”

The baby wailed.

Kate sighed. “I should have sat next to her.”

“Maybe she’ll settle down.”

“I can climb back there.”

The image of Brady’s mangled car flashed through Jared’s mind. He didn’t want Kate to unbuckle her seat belt. “We only have a few miles to go.”

The crying worsened. No matter what they said, nothing consoled Cassidy. Jared couldn’t concentrate on the road. “Did you read anything in the baby books that would help calm her down?”

“No. She might be tired, hungry, wet. I have no idea.” Kate twisted in her seat. “We’ll be home soon, Cassidy. Do you miss your room? All your toys?”

The baby’s cries squeezed Jared’s heart. “I’m getting off the freeway at the next exit.”

“We have to do something now.”

“The radio,” he offered.

“Noise might upset her more.” Frustration laced each of Kate’s words.

He understood. The wailing reverberated around him. “What do you suggest I do?”

When she didn’t answer, Jared turned on the radio. A classical song played. Mozart, if he wasn’t mistaken.

The baby screeched. So much for those songs for babies he’d downloaded.

Jared hit one of the radio’s preset buttons. A country music singer sang of lost loves and dented fenders. More crying. He pressed another button. A rock-and-roll tune filled the car with an electric guitar solo. Cassidy shrieked.

Tension ratcheted. Kate grimaced. “This isn’t working.”

The baby hiccupped between her sobs.

Jared wouldn’t give up. He hit the AM dial and searched the stations, stopping when he heard stock quotes.

“Why are you putting on this station?” Kate reached for the radio. “It’ll make her—”

Cassidy stopped crying as if someone had flicked an off switch.

“No way.” Kate’s arm hovered in front of the ON/ OFF button before she placed her hand on her seat. “How did you know financial news would work?”

“Brady listened to this.”

As a reporter spoke about an upcoming meeting to discuss interest rates, the baby squealed a happy noise this time.

“We’ll have to add the money station in Portland to our presets,” Kate said.

“It’s one of mine.”

“Then it might be one of mine. I rarely listen to the radio. I prefer to put on an audiobook.”

He wasn’t surprised. “Multitasker.”

“I try to maximize my productivity. That will be more important now with Cassidy.”

“You can do whatever you set your mind to.” He wanted to reassure Kate. Who was he kidding? He wanted to take her in his arms and kiss some sense into her gorgeous head. “We’ll both do whatever it takes.”

“You sound so sure.”

“I am.”

“Aren’t you worried about the future?” she asked.

“All we can do is our best.”
Melissa McClone. The Husband ARC (Kindle Locations 1108-1168). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Now being a parent isn’t easy, and because of their life style Kate is essentially a single mom during the week. Jared lives and works in Seattle when he’s not on the road, while Kate’s business is in Portland. Fortunately the rest of Jared’s family is also in Portland so she doesn’t have to worry about child care while she’s working. Unfortunately the perfect baby is long gone and after a week of no sleep Kate is ready for Jared to step in. Well sort of.

Something’s got to give or everything is going to fall apart. A weekend isn’t long enough to make up for a week of no help at night. They do make some discoveries though.

Kate’s first mother’s day is poignant and at Jared’s parents an eye opener. However it’s as Kate gives telecommuting a chance by moving up to Seattle that things really come to a head.

I found myself very angry at Jared’s family and Jared for that matter. The circumstances that broke up their marriage to begin with were archaic and chauvinistic. There are many things that come into play as this story unfolds, there is laughter, tears, love and compassion. However the biggest thing is when Jared’s eyes open to the truth of everything.

I can’t wait to see what Melissa comes up with next for this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Melissa!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

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!

A Taste From Love under Lockdown: Heart-stirring Sweet Romance Isolationship Stories – The Gold Digger by Melissa McClone


25 Heart-stirring Sweet Romance Isolationship Short Stories

Love Under Lockdown
Featuring:
Kari Shuey, Lorana Hoopes, Melissa McClone, Jessie Cal,
Ellie Hall, Nikki Larson, Kayla Tirrell, Cindy Ray Hale,
Susanne Ash, Poppy Pennington-Smith, Laura Burton,
Gigi Blume, Christina Butrum, Dobi Daniels,
Nadine Millard, Rimmy London, Jacqueline Winters,
M. Dalto, Laynie Bynum, Ginny Sterling,
River Ford, Hillary Ann Sperry, Molly Zenk,
Anna Johnson, Milla Holt, and Jessica Avary
The Gold Digger
Billionaires of Silicon Forest Prequel
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Enchanted Quill Romance is thrilled to present this huge anthology of sweet romantic shorts guaranteed to warm your heart.

This collection features 25 short stories about finding love while locked down in one place. It has a wide variety of all your favorite tropes including:

Friends to lovers
Second chance
Insta-Love
Enemies to lovers
Forbidden love

And so much more. Laugh, cry, sigh and swoon during this beautiful collection of short stories by sweet romance authors handpicked by Enchanted Quill Romance.

This heart-stirring boxset is a limited edition, so pick it up now to avoid missing out.

In the middle of a torrential rainfall, Adam Zeile and his friend Henry Davenport were heading out to look at a property. According to Henry the other interested buyers wouldn’t come out in the storm so it was Adam’s best change to purchase the property if it meets his specifications. One particular photo had caught his eye and if the view was the same he would buy it.

Unfortunately Henry had a meeting to attend so he left Adam at the property with the promise take a look at it when he got back. Adam was hopeful this would be the perfect property and even though the agent Cambria Baker was honest about the condition of the cabin he only needed to see the view. Once he had it was off, this was not the place for him.

While he was waiting for Henry to return, Cambria cleaned up the snack she had prepared and changed into clothing more appropriate for the weather.

This is a favorite scene.

A protectiveness welled up inside him, which was stupid when he was the one who’d made her feel bad. The least he could do was not make her wait.

“Go ahead and lock up the cabin.” He was still damp from when he arrived. A little more rain wouldn’t hurt him. “I’ll wait outside.”

Her forehead wrinkled. “Listen to the rain. It’s pouring again. You’ll get soaked out there.”

“My friend will be here soon,” he countered. “You should get on the road, given the weather.”

An uncomfortable silence descended.

Come on, Henry. Adam shifted his weight between his feet.

A noise sounded.

Henry and Frank must be here. Adam blew out a breath before opening the door, but no SUV was parked next to the other car.

Rain pelted the ground, and water poured like a sheet from the roof. But the noise he’d heard became louder— rumbled.

Her face paled.

Adrenaline surged. “Earthquake?”

“Slide.” Cambria pushed him aside, slammed the door, and grabbed his hand with her free one. “Upstairs!”

The rumble turned into a roar— deafening and frightening and all-consuming.

The bag on her shoulder swung and nearly took him out, but he stayed upright.

As she ran up the stairs and into the bathroom, she never let go of him. “Get in the tub.”

Adam’s pulse raced. He shouldn’t be winded, but his breaths came fast. “Isn’t that for a tornado?”

Cambria released his hand and climbed into the bathtub. She flashed him a stop-being-stupid look.

The rumbling continued.

He didn’t need to be told twice and got in next to her. “We should be safe here,” she reassured him.

Something crashed into the house with an earsplitting blast. The cabin shook.

She gasped.

Adam bounced against the wall and then fell. He held back a shout.

Cambria curled in a ball, so he covered her with his body. He had no idea what was happening, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to know.

His heart pounded, threatening to explode, but that didn’t drown out the horrible sounds of breaking glass and splintering wood.

Is this how it ends?

He imagined his mom, dad, brother, and sister. A carousel of his friends followed.

Adam gulped in air as if it might be his last breath. Images of the future he wouldn’t have filled his mind— a wife, kids, and a forever kind of love.

“I think it’s over,” a quiet voice said from underneath him.

He straightened so that Cambria could sit up.

She was correct. Everything had stopped, but he had no sense of time or how long they’d been in the bathroom.

Her face was paler than before. Her lower lip quivered.

Adam touched her shoulder. “It’ll be okay.”

She raised an eyebrow. “And you know this how?”

Her sarcastic tone surprised him.

“I don’t.” Tired of cowering, he stood and found his footing in the tub. “But we’re alive. I wasn’t sure if we would be by the time everything stopped. And you look like you needed to hear it.”

She didn’t disagree. Nor did she say anything.

“Thanks for getting me upstairs. I had no idea what was happening.” Adam didn’t know the extent of damage on the first floor, but he assumed— hoped— the immediate danger had passed. “How did you know to run upstairs?”

“My grandpa was on our neighborhood’s Community Emergency Response Team. He stopped when he and my grandma moved into an assisted living center, but now he’s the head of the CERT he formed there. He taught my brother and me what to do in different, um, situations.”

Her voice shook, and her hands trembled.

Was she afraid or in shock? Perhaps both?

Adam hadn’t taken a first aid class in years. His security team included a medic, so he hadn’t needed to remember anything and didn’t. “You okay?”

She nodded. “Delayed reaction.”

That was a relief.

“You should check on your friend,” she added.

Henry and Frank.

Adam’s heart dropped. As he yanked out his phone and hit call, he held his breath.

One ring. Two…

“Are you okay?” Henry asked in a breathless rush.

Tears pricked the back of Adam’s eyelids. He exhaled, letting his tension go, and cleared his throat. “If by okay you mean standing in the bathtub on the second floor, then yes, I’m okay. What about you and Frank?”

“If we’d been two minutes earlier, we would have been caught in the mudslide.”

“Mudslide,” Adam repeated so Cambria would know she’d been correct. Not that he’d doubted her. She’d taken action while he stood frozen, unable to make sense of what was happening. “Something hit the house, but we haven’t been downstairs to see what. How bad is it where you are?”

“The road is covered with mud. There’s no way to pick you up.”

Adam let the news sink in. “But you and Frank—”

“We’re fine.” He needed to hear that again. “How long do you think cleanup will take?”

“Frank is on the phone with someone. But I doubt it’ll be fast. With this weather, calling in a helicopter isn’t an option.”

That meant… Adam scrubbed his face. “So, I’m stuck.”

“Yes, but at least you’re not alone.”
Melissa McClone. The Gold Digger (Kindle Locations 251-259). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Lots of mud, damage to the cabin and no way to get out until either the weather or the road is cleared.

Sparks begin to fly between them even as Cambria’s world starts falling apart more than it already had.

A wonderful romance that is fun and playful in difficult circumstances.

I will be reading more of this anthology, all but Melissa are new to me authors.

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!

The Boss: A Workplace Romance – A Keeper Series Book 3 By Melissa Mc Clone


The Boss
A Keeper Series Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Melissa McClone

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

He wanted a fling. She wanted forever. All they got was a “goodbye.”

Taking over as the temporary associate producer on a television show, Chaney Sullivan comes face-to-face with her former boss who stole—and broke—her heart. He’s more attractive than ever, which complicates working together. But she knows better than to fall for him all over again.

Nobody denies billionaire Drake Llewelyn anything, but Chaney’s done it—twice. Even though he’s too busy for a relationship, her beauty and sass intrigue him. But she’s changed. Her zest for life and her little dimple are missing, and he wants to uncover why.

When an unforgettable kiss brings them together, fear drives them apart. Drake pushes her away—not believing in love. Tired of trying to please everyone, Chaney retreats. Can they find the courage to risk their hearts or will their pasts keep them alone forever?

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Chaney has taken the opportunity to step in as assistant producer for a high rated cable show to increase her chances for a promotion. She wasn’t unfamiliar with the production company, she had interned for Drake Llewelyn five years ago. She was replacing her friend who is now on bed rest with a difficult pregnancy. What she didn’t account for was her attraction to Drake still being as intense as it was back then.

Drake decided to do more of his company’s show The Billionaires Playground as soon as he heard Chaney had accepted the position. He’s missed her, but he appears to be more interested in a fling rather than a relationship. That’s something Chaney won’t compromise on and certainly not with her boss.

This is a favorite scene.

Chaney tucked her hair behind her ears. “How do you remove the costume?”

He lifted his left arm and pointed with his right hand. “Buckles are hidden underneath. They attach the armor pieces. You have to undo them.”

Okay, that didn’t sound difficult.

As she walked toward him, a wall of heat hit her. Not from the fireplace, but from Drake. She knew he was hot, but not literally. Warmth emanated from him. His scent— sweaty, musky, and male— surrounded her.

“I’m looking forward to getting out of this costume and into a shower,” he said.

No thinking about him doing that. She glanced at the bed again. Thinking about him there wasn’t a good idea, either.

Chaney pulled apart the armor plates to find the buckles. “All I want to do is sleep.”

“That bed looks… inviting. The staff left chocolate on the pillows.” He stared down at her. “Two pieces.”

Uh-oh. She undid a buckle. “The staff may have assumed you’d have a guest.”

“I do. Are you interested?”

Her fingers fumbled. “What?”

His eyes danced with laughter. “In chocolate.”

“I’m not a guest. I work for you… your company.” As she unfastened another buckle, her fingertips brushed the chain mail underneath. “How many layers are you wearing?”

“A few, but once the chain mail is off, I can handle the rest. Unless you’d rather help with that, too.”

Her fingers trembled. No way would she respond to him. Anything she said would come out wrong and might sound as if she were interested in helping with… more. She pressed her lips together.

Chaney focused on the armor, not the man underneath it. She caught glimpses of chain mail, a quilted shirt, dark hair. Intriguing images. Tempting impressions. Ones she ignored. She unbuckled the pieces on his chest and shoulders before placing each in its container on the floor.

She knelt at his feet to remove the lower half of the armor. Reaching around his thigh, she found her hands between his legs and her head much too close to his, um, codpiece.

“I appreciate this, Chaney,” he said as if she were tying his shoes, not practically fondling him as she reached for a buckle. “I know you’re tired.”

Chaney kept her eyes focused on the buckle, not allowing herself to look anywhere else. Or touch any part of him. “Almost done.”

Please, oh, please let me be almost done.

She hurriedly undid the buckle. Unfortunately, three more needed her attention and kept her in an uncomfortable, embarrassing position.

“Finished,” she said finally, laying the last piece of leg armor into its spot in the container.

“Thank you.”

Chaney turned. The words “you’re welcome” died on her parted lips.

Chain mail molded to his muscular shoulders, arms, and chest. The metal shirt fell to his hips. Talk about hot.

She swallowed.

He was every woman’s fantasy and her worst nightmare. But that didn’t stop her knees from going weak and her blood from boiling.

“The chain mail attaches in the back,” he said.

Chaney forced herself into action. She fumbled with the first hook. Her fingers wouldn’t do what she wanted them to do.

She blew out a frustrated breath.

Ugh. His soft-looking hair tempted her to touch it, to see if the strands would curl around her finger.

“Having trouble?” Drake asked.

He had no idea. “I’m getting there.”

Or would. As soon as she reminded her traitorous body she wasn’t interested in Drake Llewelyn. He couldn’t give her what she wanted: a forever kind of love. Not to mention she was on a break from dating men.

An almost two-year break, a voice— maybe her heart— mocked.

Shut up.

“Excuse me?” he asked.

Oh, no. She hadn’t meant to say that out loud. “Sorry, I was trying to quiet the voices in my head.”

“What were they saying?”

“That it’s past my bedtime, but don’t worry. I won’t leave until I finish the job.”

“I knew I could count on you.”

Chaney didn’t understand his confidence in her when she wasn’t sure she could count on herself in this situation.

Finally, the snap came undone. Slowly, much too slowly for her liking, she opened each of the remaining ones. “They’re all unsnapped.”

“Can you help me out of it?”

“Sure.” Her voice sounded stronger than she felt.

“Open the back.”

As she did as he asked, Chaney realized how much the chain mail weighed. He shrugged out of the shirt, so it rested on his upper arms.

“Now come around in front of me,” he said. “Be careful, it’s heavy.”

Chaney held on as he pulled one arm out and then the other, never once leaving her to hold the entire weight.

He placed the chain mail in the container. His damp, quilted shirt clung to him. He pulled out the tails from the waistband of his pants. “Much better and cooler.”

Maybe for him. “I should go.”

“Stay.” One soft word in that delicious, accented voice.

She sucked in a breath. “We’re finished.”

His eyes lit again with that wicked laughter. “Darling, we’re just getting started.”
Melissa McClone. The Boss (Kindle Locations 525-531). Cardinal Press, LLC.

Drake is pretty relentless when it comes to Chaney, he wants her and he really doesn’t want a relationship. He has no desire to get married and he feels his reasons are justified.

I love the way this tale unfolds, the behind the scenes glimpses are fun and the growing romance sigh worthy. I enjoyed the members of the crew and meeting some of the more difficult hosts. The places they filmed sparked my imagination but I just really couldn’t figure out how this was going to work out for Drake and Chaney. They are both so dang stubborn and the twists that come into play are definitely not expected.

I can’t wait to see what Melissa comes up with 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 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!