Review: SPECIAL OPS SEDUCTION by Megan Crane

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SPECIAL OPS SEDUCTION (An Alaska Force Novel Book 5) by Megan Crane

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

ADD46281-42E6-4D39-A8FD-DA746BA7AC0EShe’s the last woman he ever wanted to see again…

After an official operation turned deadly, Jonas Crow began a new life in Grizzly Harbor with Alaska Force. But when fellow soldier Bethan Wilcox joins the group, she forces him to remember things he actively prefers to forget. That’s unforgivable enough. But now the two of them are forced together on a mission to uncover deadly secrets tied to their complicated past, and with the heat between them at a boil, forgiveness is the least of his worries…

And the only woman he needs.

Bethan Wilcox, one of the first women to make it through Army Ranger school, didn’t join Alaska Force to deal with Jonas’s foul temper. Or her own errant attraction to him. Thrown together in a race against the clock, they have to pretend to be a couple and play nice to throw the enemy off their scent. She knows better than to let their pretend love feel real…especially while time is running out.

Jonas has always been good at saving the world. But it’s Bethan he needs to save this time around—if she doesn’t save him first.

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Donna 4 stars

Another exciting edition to the Alaska Force series. I wondered how the author would handle the surly Jonas, sure that Bethan would be up to the task…and she was. I like her. She’s strong and capable, an over-achiever in a “man’s world”, yet human and likeable. Too many times a woman is made out to be a bit witchy to show strength, Bethan held that line quite well. Although they made a great couple, I couldn’t understand her feelings for him until almost midway into the story. He was such an ass to her, and his reasons never made sense to me. Thankfully, his inner self showed through and made him worthy.

The suspenseful story was intriguing and provided some fun action. I completely enjoyed how their romance blossomed during their joint mission to her family home. That was my favorite part of the book and had me wondering quite a bit about the antagonist. I must admit that I never did figure out the bad guy’s motivation regarding Bethan and Jonas…but I enjoyed the read none-the-less.

One of my favorite aspects of this series, is the group dynamics of the Alaska Force Team. The camaraderie seems effortless and pulls me into them, caring about them, and wishing I were part of it all. It was a fun read, leaving me anxious for the next installment.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.  

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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About the author

USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Megan Crane has written more than eighty-five books, and counting. She’s won fans with her romance, women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels as well as with the Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Dare, and contemporary cowboy books she writes as Caitlin Crews. These days her focus is on contemporary romance in all its forms, from cowboys to military heroes and beyond – including her take on futuristic Vikings, outlaw bikers, and fairy tale princes. She has a Masters and Ph.D. in English Literature, has taught creative writing classes in places like UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, and is always available to give workshops (or her opinion). She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her comic artist husband, though, at any given time, she is likely to either be huddled in a coffee shop somewhere or off traveling the world. Preferably both.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: WOLF UNTAMED by Paige Tyler

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WOLF UNTAMED (SWAT Book 11) by Paige Tyler

Publication Date: November 24, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

AB71C818-0440-4844-8066-1DA0BA921A58The guys in the Special Wolf Alpha Team (SWAT) are hotter than ever.

SWAT werewolf Diego Martinez was on a mission to save lives when he walked into the hostage situation—he didn’t expect to find a newly turned teenage werewolf and the kid’s fiercely protective mother. For Bree Harlow and her son, Brandon, Diego is a godsend, and not just because he saved the day.

Bree has spent the years since her divorce trying to do her best by Brandon. But lately the boy who used to tell her everything has been keeping secrets. In the face of all the bizarre things happening at home, there’s something about Diego that Bree can’t resist—especially when he’s able to explain Brandon’s new abilities.

But the hostage incident was just the start in a wave of violence that no one can explain, and when Bree and Brandon are caught in the middle, Diego will do everything in his power to protect the family he wants as his own.

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This is an exciting installment in the SWAT Series and kept me reading to find out the mystery. As with the other stories, the background is full of danger, intrigue, and mystery. One of my favorite parts of the SWAT Unit is the camaraderie and banter.  Even if you read this as a standalone, you can pick up on their closeness and history.

Bree and Diego may have been destined for one another, but their relationship still moved at a believable pace. Thankfully without either of them delving into the “I don’t want a relationship” mode. Neither did it feel like a done deal because of “the one” tract. It was nice and fun to read. I liked them both and they were just a good fit, her son included. Watching Diego learn to be not just a partner, but a father figure and alpha, was heartwarming.

The story was fun and romantic, even though a part of it seemed a bit far-fetched. (Which I know, is an odd thing to say about a paranormal romance.) That strangeness didn’t detract from my enjoyment though, it just has me curious about book 12. I can’t wait.

*Review copy provided NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt

Bree had no idea if seconds—or hours—passed, but then she heard something so out of place with her surroundings that it immediately snapped her back to reality. 

Growling. 

Low, soft, pained…growling. 

And it was coming from Brandon. 

She looked down to find him gazing up at her with vivid-gold eyes, half-inch-long fangs visible over his bottom lip. 

Bree had always considered herself to be a strong person. She’d gone through a lot in her life and dealt with it. But she couldn’t ignore the obvious. The accumulated stress of this situation had been too much for her. She was having a mental breakdown. Because there was no way she was seeing what she thought she saw. 

Suddenly, the SWAT cop was at her side, pulling Brandon up and talking to him in a slow, calm voice, telling him to relax and breathe, that everything was over and he was going to be okay at the same time he used his big body like a shield, keeping other people in the diner from seeing her son’s face. His voice was the most soothing and calming sound she’d ever heard in her life, and even though he wasn’t talking to her, she found herself breathing in time with his instructions—in through the nose, hold it for five seconds, and out through the mouth. 

Bree watched in stunned fascination as the yellow glow slowly receded from her son’s eyes and the fangs disappeared. All at once, his panicked breathing and frantic features relaxed, and she realized it was the first time in months he didn’t seem tense. 

There was a commotion behind her, and she glanced over her shoulder to see the other officers—dressed like Diego but with weapons and heavy-looking tactical gear strapped across their chests—quickly moving the rest of the hostages outside, herding them in such a way that they didn’t have time to look at the body on the floor…or Brandon. 

It was like they were all working together to keep anyone from seeing what was happening with her son. Like they all somehow knew something unexplainable was going on with him. 

“There you go, kid.” The SWAT cop’s deep voice made her turn back around, and she saw him standing there with his hands on Brandon’s shoulders. “Just a few more deep breaths and you’ll be good to go.” 

Diego was right. A few seconds later, Brandon was fine, and Bree found herself wondering if everything she’dseen was a figment of her confused mind. 

It could have been, right? 

She felt a gentle hand on her arm and looked up into the warmest brown eyes she’d ever seen, a little overwhelmed by the concern she saw there. Diego didn’t even know her, and yet he seemed genuinely worried. 

“I think we should get out of here,” he said, nodding toward Brandon. “This place is about to be crawling with cops, crime-scene techs, and general-purpose gawkers. I’d rather be somewhere else before they show up. We have a lot to talk about.” 

She was about to ask what he meant by that, but then it hit her. Everything she’d seen had been real. Diego had seen it, too. And now he wanted to talk about it. Because that’s what cops did. They dug into stuff until they knew everything. 

Bree’s heart began to thump hard all over again as she realized the danger her son might be in now. What if Diego revealed what he’d seen? Brandon would be treated like a monster. From the look on Brandon’s face, he realized the same thing and was on the verge of freaking out. 

“Relax,” the cop said softly, looking first at Brandon, then her. “I’m not a threat to your son. I promise.” 

Gaze locked with hers, Diego’s eyes flared vivid yellow-gold. The color was only there for a second before it disappeared, but it was impossible to miss. Or mistake it for anything other than what she’d seen in her son’s eyes. The cop looked at Brandon, earning a wide-eyed gasp. Bree had no idea what any of this meant, but it had to be a good sign…right? 

“Like I said,” Diego murmured. “We have a lot to talk about.” 

Excerpted from Wolf Untamed by Paige Tyler. © 2020 by Paige Tyler. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

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Giveaway

3 sets of Wolf Rising, Wolf Instinct, and Wolf Rebel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the author image

Paige is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy romantic suspense and paranormal romance. She graduated from The University of West Florida with a degree in education in 2000, but decided to pursue a full-time career as a writer in 2004. Since then, she’s written over fifty books in several genres, including paranormal, contemporary, western, sci-fi and erotica. She loves writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty, independent women who fall for them. From verbal foreplay to sexual heat, her stories of romance, adventure, suspense, passion and true love will leave you breathlessly panting for more.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review & Excerpt: LEOPARD’S RAGE by Christine Feehan

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LEOPARD’S RAGE (A Leopard Novel, Book 13) by Christine Feehan

Publication Date: November 10, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

AE607595-8308-4732-9213-6D06DBAED040It will take more than desire to tame the animal within in this Leopard novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

Leopard shifter Sevastyan Amurov has an anger inside of him that burns so hot it’s almost impossible to control. His barely leashed rage threatens to break free, until he meets a woman who soothes his restless soul.

Sevastyan wants Flambe Carver with every breath. He’s determined that the fiery-haired woman will want to be his completely. But his would-be mate comes with strings attached—a relentless stalker who intends to claim her for his own.

They barely know each other, but with a very real threat looming just out of reach, Sevastyan takes Flambe under his protection. And as their connection grows, the embers of desire sparking between them soon burst into an inferno that will consume them both.

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Another super-sexy addition to the Leopard’s Series. I don’t normally warm up to uber-alpha males, but Sevastyan got to me. His desire for love and a mate shone through right away. I also liked how hard he worked on the relationship. Flambe’ however, just didn’t hit it for me. We don’t learn enough about her motivation until late in the book, so I didn’t trust her and couldn’t warm up to her. It seemed he had to do all the work tiptoeing through emotional landmines. It finally worked out and I ended up caring about her. There is a lot of explicit sex involving Shibari. I enjoyed how the author described the rope play so that I could almost picture it and understand the artistic aspect of it.

The background story to the romance carries on from previous books, adding in how Flambe’ got there with her own troubles. The two stories blended well together and brought it to a suspenseful ending. I enjoyed the story and am glad that Sevastyan found his love.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.

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Nonexclusive Excerpt #1 (Chapter 1, page 6-8)

Sevastyan was unprepared for Shturm’s furious reaction. The leopard leapt at him, raking and clawing for freedom as if he would go hunting right then and find Flambé’s stalker. Sevastyan remained absolutely expressionless but he couldn’t stop himself from stepping in to her and circling her the way his leopard would, inhaling as he did so. The moment he did, his leopard went crazy. He felt a little insane himself. Her stalker was leopard. He wasn’t Amurov. He wasn’t from Russia, or from one of the lairs Sevastyan was familiar with, but none of that mattered, he was leopard and he was stalking Flambé for a reason.

“He struck you. Hit you. Did he do anything else to you?” Sevastyan forced himself to take a step back when he wanted—no—needed—to yank her closer, spin her around and see for himself.

Flambé frowned and touched the swelling on the side of her head, her hand trembling. She looked confused. “The moment he tried to throw me against the car, I fought him. He punched me and I went down to the pavement and hit my head very hard.”

Sevastyan wanted to pull her close to him, even on the pretense of just steadying her, but the attack had shaken her. Shturm was acting crazy, one minute rolling over and the next struggling to get out. He had to be careful with her.

“He straddled me, grabbing me by my hair, and I kneed him hard, managed to get to my feet and ran for your property. I’d been here a few times with my father so I knew approximately where the trees were the thickest. He’d planted them when I was really young.”

Sevastyan swore to himself. “Is this man someone you know? Someone you were promised to by your father?”

She tilted her head and studied his face for long moment before answering him. “No. He didn’t know my father. Clearly, you’re aware of what we are or you wouldn’t have been so set on hiring our company.”

“Before we go any further, if I ask you inside, will you be uncomfortable alone with me? There is no one else here. I didn’t know how much you knew about shifters and I wanted a chance to tell you what I needed from you when it came to landscaping without anyone around, but I don’t want you to be in the least uncomfortable. We can discuss this and then business on the outside patio if that is easier for you, but you need to sit down.”

Flambé hesitated, faint color stealing up her neck into her face, surprising him. Sevastyan studied her averted face as she once again peered over her shoulder before looking back at him. He had the feeling this time her hesitation wasn’t because she feared whoever it was that had struck her. She was avoiding looking at him.

“I’m not afraid of you. Your family has a certain reputation and there is honor and integrity involved.”

There was the smallest hint of untruth in her voice. She wasn’t afraid exactly, more like intimidated and he was okay with that. Sevastyan had been intimidating people nearly his entire life.

“And criminal activity,” he prompted.

For the first time a faint smile lit her face, doing extraordinary things to her eyes. “That too.”

He stepped back and held open the door. “Come in then. I’ve had a lot of work done to the interior, but it’s by no means finished.” He stayed where he was, forcing her to move past him. He took up a lot of space and that meant her smaller body would have to slide next to his, touching his briefly. He wanted to see what reaction his leopard would have. He already knew what reaction he had to her.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Christine Feehan, 2020.

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Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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image#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan has over 40 novels published, including four series. Each of her four series has hit #1 on the NY Times. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature for 1999. Since then she has been published by Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards.

She is pleased to have made numerous bestseller lists including the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Bookscan, B. Daltons, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Waldenbooks, Ingrams, Borders, Rhapsody Book Club, Washington Post, and Walmart. She has received numerous honors throughout her career including being a nominee for the RWA’s RITA. She has received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times and the Borders 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

She has been published in multiple languages and in many formats, including large print, palm pilot, e-book, and hardcover. In October of 2007 her first manga comic, Dark Hunger was released in stores. This was the first ever manga comic released by Berkley Publishing and it made #11 on Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller’s List. Her ground-breaking book trailer commercials have been shown on TV and in the movie theaters. She has been featured on local TV, appeared on the The Montel Williams Show, and her book Dark Legend was featured on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine.

Christine Feehan has also appeared at numerous writers’ conventions and book signings including: Romantic Times Convention, Get Caught Reading at Sea Cruise, Celebrate Romance Conference, Emerald City Conference, and numerous Romance Writers of America Conferences.

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Review: WILDFLOWER ROAD by Janine Rosche

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WILDFLOWER ROAD (Madison River Romance Book 2) by Janine Rosche

Publication Date: October 13, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

63F72EDC-3438-44C0-B032-9840FAA4DB46A young widow is tempted to love again after her heartbreaking loss in this new Madison River Romance. 

After her husband’s tragic death, Ryann Marie Ashcroft’s only remaining dream is to save her family’s struggling mountain resort. And the last person she wants to rely on is a brooding stranger with secrets of his own.

Nicknamed America’s rock-and-roll pastor, Shane Olson arrives in Montana after a viral video destroys his marriage, his ministry, and his reputation. Working side by side on the banks of the Madison River, he and Ryann get a second chance at love. But not everyone wants to see their happily ever after.

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Donna 4 stars

This is a lovely story of not only second chances but finding your way when the world seems stacked up against you. Shane was hiding from his past in shame. He never lost his Christian faith, yet he struggled with feeling unworthy. Ryann was also dealing with a past trauma, and an ongoing threat that would not let her move on. Somehow, they found each other and provided the strength and comfort each needed to find a way forward.

Ms. Rosche has an easy writing style that pulls a reader through the ups and downs of the character’s lives. I’m glad she has written a great community of friends and family to build the close-knit world of Madison River. That kind of setting grabs a hold of me and builds the hope of a happily ever after. The story is a combination romantic suspense and Christian faith novel that keeps a reader turning the pages.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.  

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Buy Links

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Amazon Series Link

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About the author

Prone to wander, Janine Rosche finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into each of her rustic romance novels in the Madison River Romance series. When she isn’t writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students, takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs, and embarrasses her four children and husband with boy band serenades.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: ONCE IN A BLUE MOON by Sharon Sala

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ONCE IN A BLUE MOON (Blessings, Georgia Series, Book 10) by Sharon Sala

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

A94803D3-FB36-4D3F-8BDB-D3AF7B8FDA43New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Sala brings you back to Blessings, Georgia

How often do you find a love like this?

Cathy Terry is tired of running. Full of fear and hope, she backpacked across the country to Blessings, Georgia, not knowing if or when her abusive ex-husband would catch up to her. In Blessings she glimpses a safe haven and the closest feeling to home she’s had in a long time—even more so when she meets Duke Talbot. The sweet, strong, and handsome rancher provides a shoulder to lean on. The stakes get higher as the community embraces her and her relationship with Duke deepens—but can Cathy claim a new home and family before her past claims her?

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This is a lovely little romance not only between Cathy and Duke, but the town of Blessings as well. The banter of the residents make you feel like it’s a real place with real people that have known each other for years.  I liked Cathy and Duke right away, enjoying how they just knew there was something between them and no need to fight the attraction. The physical part of their relationship was behind doors, relying on the romance and friendship, so it will appeal to a wide range of readers. At times it seemed a little too sweet, but the suspense kept it from going into syrupy territory. This story can be read as a stand-alone.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt

Duke loved this time of year. The leaves on the trees were as varied and colorful as the old patchwork quilts they’dslept under as children. And the sky today was a clear, cloudless blue—the same color as Cathy’s eyes.

The cows saw him driving across the pasture and looked up, hoping to see he was slowing down, which meant they would get fed. But when he kept driving, some moved beneath a small stand of shade trees, while others moved to the feeders with the big, round bales.

Duke had put up the cameras within a couple of hundred yards’ radius and facing the direction where the rustlers had come in before.

He walked a few yards into the trees to pick up the first cam and took it down. Out of curiosity, he stopped and rewound it to watch some of the footage and grinned at the view he’d caught of the backside of a boar raccoon waddling through the woods. He fast-forwarded through the minutes with nothing, then watched the footage of two black squirrels foraging on the ground.

There was more to be seen, but he could watch it at home if he wanted, so he packed it up, then started walking through the trees to the next location, where he retrieved the cam and put it in his backpack before moving on to the last.

As Duke approached the tree where he’d mounted it, he noticed a lot of paw prints in the area. They were from either dogs or coyotes, and if there was a pack of dogs running in the area, he wanted to play the tape back to see.

He was all the way on yesterday’s footage before he saw the coyote, and then it turned to face the camera. Duke gasped, watching as the coyote started staggering toward the camera, its head down, swinging slightly from side to side and foaming at the mouth. At that point he groaned, then stopped the camera.

The hair stood up on the back of his neck as he looked around at where he was standing. He’d only seen an animal with rabies maybe twice in his life, but the coyote he caught on the trail cam exhibited all of the symptoms.

They had to find it and put it down before it spread the disease to other animals. Something like that could easily become an epidemic. He needed to get home and call the county wildlife department and then notify the neighbors.

Duke drove home as fast as he could, then ran into the house carrying the cameras. He dumped them on the kitchen table and headed for the office. He had a friend who used to work for the county wildlife department and would know what to do and who to call.

He sat down without bothering to take off his jacket, found the number on an old business card, and made the call, then waited for someone to answer. This was the last number he’d had for Will, and he hoped it was still good.

And then the call was answered.

“Wildlife Animal Control, this is Carol.”

“Yes, ma’am. I’m trying to locate a ranger by the name of Will Polson. Does he still work there?”

“Yes, who’s calling please?”

“Tell him it’s Duke Talbot.”

Duke was put on hold, giving him time to put his cell phone on speaker. And then he heard a familiar voice and smiled.

“Well, hello, Duke Talbot! How the heck are you? Are you still out on the family farm?”

“Hi, Will. We’re doing good here, and yes, I’m still here. Listen, we have a problem out here. We had some trouble with cattle rustlers on the farm, so I put up some trail cams in the area, hoping if they came back I’d catch them. But they recently got themselves arrested. Today I went to take down the cameras and had quite a shock when I saw what was on the last one. It was a very obviously rabid coyote, and the last thing we need to have happen is to let this disease spread. There are a lot of farms around here, and people with kids and pets who roam the hills and creeks, not to mention the other wildlife that could get infected.”

“Oh man, this isn’t good. We haven’t had to deal with a rabies case in months,” Will said. “What were the date and time when you caught it on film?”

“Yesterday about this time of day,” Duke said.

“There’s no telling where it is by now, but I’ll get a crew together and head your way. You might notify as many neighbors as you can about the problem. Tell them to keep their dogs up until we find it. You said you’re still on the family farm?”

“Yes. Do you need an address?”

“Nope. I still remember how to get there. Can we drive up to the area?” he asked.

“Yes. To a point, and then the trees will be too dense. It will all be on foot from there.”

Excerpted from Once in a Blue Moon by Sharon Sala. © 2020 by Sharon Sala. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

KindlePaperback

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Giveaway

5 copies of You and Only You

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Sharon Sala is a long-time member of RWA, as well as a member of OKRWA. She has 100 plus books in print under her name and her pen name, Dinah McCall. She is published in five different genres – Romance, Young Adult, Western, Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. First published in 1991, she’s an eight-time RITA finalist, winner of the Janet Dailey Award, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Magazine, five time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, and five time winner of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence, winner of the Heart of Excellence Award, as well as winner of the Booksellers Best Award. In 2011 she was named RWA’s recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books are New York Times , USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate.

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Review: DELTA FORCE DEFENDER by Megan Crane

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DELTA FORCE DEFENDER (An Alaska Force Novel Book 4) by Megan Crane

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

F2FF7378-0343-4C79-BA50-3352DAC6D6F6Dangerous secrets force Caradine Scott on the run from Grizzly Harbor—with Alaska Force leader Isaac Gentry in hot pursuit—in the irresistible new romantic suspense from USA Today bestselling author Megan Crane.

After an explosion that should have killed her, Caradine barely escaped her criminal family by leaving her old identity behind. These days she runs the Water’s Edge Cafe in a rugged little town on the edge of nowhere, vowing never to let anyone close to her again.

After his career in the military, Isaac is back home playing the part of an unassuming local in Grizzly Harbor, while also overseeing Alaska Force’s special ops work as the founder and commanding officer he once was in the Marines and beyond. He has better things to do than obsess over a woman who claims she hates him, but every glimpse he gets of the vulnerability beneath her prickly exterior is a distraction . . . and a challenge he can’t ignore.

When Caradine’s demons catch up with her, her cafe isn’t the only thing that blows up. Her past pushes them together, and closer to a future that’s been waiting for them all this time. They just have to survive long enough to enjoy it.

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Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this installment in the Alaska Force series, though it did not blow me away. Isaac was the hero I wanted to get lost in, yet in some ways the story fell short. I scored it a 4 because yes, it took me on a fun ride, but I just didn’t believe Isaac’s feelings for Caradine. She was far too caustic, secretive, and pushed him away too much to believe his growing love. The reason for her hiding did not make sense. I don’t want to give away the mystery, so will not voice the parts that made me say “what?” on more than one occasion. Now that I said that, I did have fun with the Alaska Force team. Their group camaraderie is easy and believable, and the Alaskan community is a place that I would love to live. Combine those things with a thrilling suspenseful drama, and you have an enjoyable book.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.  

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Buy Links

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About the author

USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Megan Crane has written more than eighty-five books, and counting. She’s won fans with her romance, women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels as well as with the Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Dare, and contemporary cowboy books she writes as Caitlin Crews. These days her focus is on contemporary romance in all its forms, from cowboys to military heroes and beyond – including her take on futuristic Vikings, outlaw bikers, and fairy tale princes. She has a Masters and Ph.D. in English Literature, has taught creative writing classes in places like UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, and is always available to give workshops (or her opinion). She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her comic artist husband, though, at any given time, she is likely to either be huddled in a coffee shop somewhere or off traveling the world. Preferably both.

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Review: RUNNING OUT OF TIME (Tactical Crime Division Book 4) by Cindi Myers

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RUNNING OUT OF TIME (Tactical Crime Division Book 4) by Cindi Myers

Publication Date: July 1, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

BC814FCF-A5CB-4F27-AF30-48C5743395FCRide along on the riveting cases of the Tactical Crime Division — TCD. An elite team of FBI agents specializing in high-risk threats.

When a terrorist is on the loose, the Tactical Crime Division is on the case.

To find out who poisoned medications, two of TCD’s agents are tapped to go undercover posing as a married couple and infiltrate the company. But as soon as Jace Cantrell and Laura Smith arrive at Stroud Pharmaceuticals, someone ups the ante by planting explosives in their midst. Turns out that the small-town family business is hiding a million secrets. Could they unknowingly be protecting a vengeful killer?

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek Thrills. Solve Crimes. Justice Served.

Discover the lives and loves of the remaining team members in the Tactical Crime Division series:
Book 1: 48 Hour Lockdown by Carla Cassidy
Book 2: Secret Investigation by Elizabeth Heiter
Book 3: Midnight Abduction by Nichole Severn
Book 4: Running out of Time by Cindi Myers

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Donna 4 stars

I love a quick action-packed story, and this Harlequin Intrigue delivered. I was a little worried about Laura’s uptight behavior in the beginning, but she quickly warmed up with the help of Jace. They weren’t exactly opposites, but their individual strengths worked well together and made the sexy romance believable. This story is a fun ongoing mystery that kept me guessing. I love when there are so many suspects, incidents, and underlying intrigues. A perfect summer read.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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About the Author

Cindi Myers became one of the most popular people in eighth grade when she and her best friend wrote a torrid historical romance and circulated it among their peers. Fame was short-lived, however; the English teacher confiscated the manuscript and advised her to concentrate on learning to properly diagram a sentence. From this humbling beginning, she has gone on to write more than 80 novels that have been translated into more than a dozen languages and distributed all over the world. Her books have been praised for their emotion, humor and realistic characters. She writes stories about relationships that matter, whether the subject is friendship, families, or the love between a man and a woman.

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Review: CALL IT MAGIC by Janet Chapman

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CALL IT MAGIC (A Spellbound Falls Romance Book 7) by Janet Chapman

Publication Date: May 5, 2020

Genre: Contemporary/ Fantasy Romance

Synopsis

774A8654-9CEC-45A8-8B62-B601F5EF5A03The latest magical romance in the Spellbound Falls series from the New York Times bestselling author of From Kiss to Queen and The Highlander Next Door.

Welcome back to Spellbound Falls, Maine—where love is the greatest magic of all…

Katy MacBain moved to Spellbound Falls with secrets she plans to keep. The newest member of the Fire and Rescue Team, she disappeared for three weeks before arriving on the job. She doesn’t understand why Gunnar Wolfe—the town’s interim fire chief and her boss—seems determined to uncover the truth of what happened to her during that time. Or why she’s more attracted to him than she’s ever been to any other man.

A confident firefighter, Gunnar Wolfe doesn’t give up—and he’s resolved to find out what’s wrong with the mysterious and beautiful Katy. Since she is the newest member of his team, he’s naturally protective of her, but he’s surprised to find himself captivated by the tenacious and talented woman who is so…magical.

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Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this contemporary/ fantasy romance. The here-and-now world anchors the reader while filling it with mystical healers, Atlanteans and time travelers. This is my first-time reading Ms. Chapman and this series. I managed to keep up with the characters and their world, but I strongly suggest reading from book one. It would have helped me understand relationships and feuds better.

Katy is a strong and determined woman, but her vulnerability pokes through to give her depth, I didn’t really understand some of her reactions – not enough to detract from relating to her but made me frown a bit. She and the handsome Gunnar made a nice pair. Flirting one minute and bantering the next, finally getting to the point where they both are ready to be together. The romance is more about getting to know each other beyond the attraction, rather than lustful. I liked that. The author’s writing style pulled me in to a new world of characters, so that I now need to purchase books 1 through 6, while waiting for number 8.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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About the Author

Janet Chapman is the author of twenty-two contemporary and magical romance novels, all of which are set in her beautiful state of Maine. She lives in a cozy log home on a beautiful lake with her husband, surrounded by an eclectic assortment of wildlife that she finds both entertaining and inspiring. Probably best known for her Highlander Series (a saga of twelfth century warriors rebuilding their clans in modern-day Maine that now spans three generations), Janet also has two spin-off magical series (Midnight Bay & Spellbound Falls) and several contemporary family series set on the coast and in the mountains. With over three million books printed in six languages, her stories regularly appear on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller’s lists.

When she’s not writing (well, when she should to be writing but isn’t), Janet and her husband are traveling the state in their camper throughout all four seasons; hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and generally rubbing elbows with Mother Nature while always keeping an eye out for colorful new characters—human and beast—to put in her stories.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: YOU HAD ME AT WOLF by Terry Spear

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YOU HAD ME AT WOLF (Wolff Brothers Book 1) by Terry Spear

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

5AAED362-C75E-4372-B895-E6F7847E4C42First in a thrilling new series from USA Today bestseller Terry Spear featuring the hot, powerful Wolff brothers!

A wolf on a mission needs a partner…even if it’s only for one date…

The hot, powerful Wolff brothers have moved to the outskirts of Silver Town and opened a ski lodge. They’ve always wanted to live in a wolf-controlled area, and now they have their chance. They’re settling in for a quiet winter, when their lives suddenly become way more exciting than they’d ever planned.

Private Investigator and gray wolf shifter Josie Grayson is hot on the trail of a dangerous criminal hiding out at the ski lodge when her partner takes ill and must leave her to pursue the mission alone. Blake Wolff steps in—he can’t resist the allure of this brilliant and focused she-wolf whose presence awakens a long dormant yearning in his heart.

As pursuit of their quarry heats up, Blake has a mission of his own…to convince Josie that there’s more to life than work…and that she’s his perfect mate.

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Donna 4 stars

This is a nice spin-off series from the Silver Town Wolf Series. I thought they would incorporate the Wolff brothers and the lodge into that, but I do like this better. Blake and his family are enjoyable, and I do love the search and rescue part of running a ski lodge. It adds a nice dimension to the everyday running of the business. I also loved how the family jumped in to help Nicole and her investigation. Granted the sleuthing excitement seemed to go a bit slow for me, probably how it is in real life. But the pace did allow for the romance and her assimilation into the pack to proceed. I liked Nicole and Blake, especially as a couple. It seemed natural and nothing forced – nor was there a cosmic matching that they had to come to terms with. I liked that, just two people attracted to each other and finding their perfect mate. The romance also built slowly and heated up nicely. I look forward to what comes next for the Wolff family.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt

“Looks like I’ve got some business to take care of.” Landon frowned, his gaze focused on someone behind Blake who he could hear was fast approaching. From the sound of the ski boots on the tile floor, he thought the person was female. “You go ski, and when you’re done, I’ll take a few runs down the slope.”
Blake glanced back and saw the pretty blond he’d noticed observing him and Rosco during the avalanche training. She was headed straight for them, her expression intense, brows furrowed, her gaze shifting from Landon to Blake. He smelled a whiff of her scent—fresh air and she-wolf. No wonder his brother was eager to assist her. At the same time, Blake was a little embarrassed that the woman approaching had witnessed him struggling with the snowblower. Good thing she hadn’t seen him with an out-of-control Saint Bernard even earlier.
Blake smiled. “I can hang around for a moment and take care of whatever issues she’s having.”
“No, that’s okay, Blake. The sooner you ski, the sooner I get to.”
Blake knew that wasn’t the only reason his brother wanted to take care of the woman’s concerns. Landon had recognized she was a wolf too.
When she drew closer to them, she targeted Blake, and he was eager to be the one to handle whatever was upsetting her. Happily. Conflict didn’t bother him or his brother. It was a chance to prove they could resolve any issues that arose at the lodge with the least amount of fuss. When he caught another whiff of her wolfish scent, that made him even more eager to help her. Though he reminded himself she could have a mate or a potential one.
She smiled brightly at Blake, her cheeks and the tip of her nose rosy from the cold. She was wearing a white parka, the furry hood down, a light-pink and white ski hat, dickey, and gloves, and formfitting light-pink ski pants and white ski boots, looking as if she’d just came off the slopes. She reminded him of cotton candy and snow bunnies, innocent and sweet.
When she reached him, she threw her arms around Blake in a hug, startling him. He smiled down at her, amused at where this was going. Since he was single, he didn’t have to worry about a mate throwing a fit. If he had, all she’d have to do was smell this woman all over him, and he would have been in the doghouse. As long as the woman hugging him didn’t have a mate either. Then again, wolves mated for life, so she probably wouldn’t act this way if she were mated or courting another wolf. She could smell that he didn’t have a she-wolf’s scent on him either. Not until now.
He was surprised at her action. Did she think he was someone else? But she would recognize his scent, which quashed that theory. The only other thought that flashed through his mind was that she was trying to pretend she had a relationship with him because some guy was hassling her. Whatever the reason, he was all too willing to play along and take care of whoever was giving her trouble.
She kissed him, startling him even more, and his brother laughed. “It appears your day is looking up, and I think you have a handle on this.” Still chuckling, Landon walked off.
Blake was enraptured with the woman. Her lips were soft and malleable as she pressed them gently against his, but she began building up the steam, licking his mouth and then nipping and melding hers with his.
Relishing the scent of the she-wolf and the crisp, cold out-of-doors that she carried with her, Blake wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her tighter against his body, enjoying her soft curves and warmth, building a slow fire deep inside him. They were kissing like they needed a room, he realized, not family fare in the lobby of their lodge. He very reluctantly pulled his mouth from hers and smiled. “Do I know you?”
“Took you long enough to ask.” She smiled up at him, and he wondered what he was getting himself into.
Hell, he was game.
“I’m Nicole Grayson, and you’re my fiancé. For the moment. My life depends on it.”
Blake frowned, worrying she was really in trouble, though she didn’t seem overly anxious—not in her facial expression, and certainly not in the way she’d been so easily intimate with him. “Do we need to call the sheriff?” He should have already had his phone out, but he didn’t want to let go of her if there wasn’t any need. This was just too damn nice.
“No, I’ve got a handle on this.”
He wanted to laugh at her choice of words since Landon had said the same thing about Blake. “All right, good show. By the way, I’m Blake Wolff.”
“Wolf? I’ll say.”
He smiled. He liked her easy banter and didn’t think she could be in any real danger. He would have smelled her anxiety for one thing, instead of her enticing arousal that was fueling his own. “I’d shake your hand, but I think we’re beyond that.”
“For this to be believable, yes.” She smiled up at him as if she truly adored him. “I saw all the trouble you were having with the snowblower earlier.”
“Uh, yeah.” That kind of blew his macho image, he was afraid. He had hoped she wouldn’t bring it up. “I’ve never used that kind before.”
“I kind of figured that. I haven’t either, or I would have tried to help.”
He smiled. “You watched instead.”
Her cheeks pinkened. “You were entertaining.”
“You saw everything?”

 

Excerpted from You Had Me at Wolf by Terry Spear. © 2020by Terry Spear. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Giveaway

5 Copies of You Had Me at Wolf

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

USA Today bestselling author TERRY SPEAR has written over 35 paranormal romances featuring werewolf and jaguar shapeshifters. In 2008, Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Spring, Texas.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: CALLING ON QUINN by Blue Saffire

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CALLING ON QUINN (The Blackhart Brothers Book 1) by Blue Saffire

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense 

Synopsis

412D9DDE-A97E-4A90-877B-ACD08D6B1FE5He’s trouble—of the very best kind

Quinn Blackheart is a private investigator, former cop, and no-nonsense, take-charge kind of guy who adores his sprawling Irish family. He likes to check all the boxes, and his niece’s gorgeous driving instructor just earned a place at the top of his to-do list.

Alicia Rhodes has had a tough, chaotic year, and she’s ready to put the past behind her and find happiness in the present. When handsome Quinn Blackhart shows up at a driving lesson, she can see he’s the very best kind of trouble—but is she game? Now isn’t a great time to get involved with a man—even if he’s the most romantic, supportive, understanding, magnificent man she’s ever met.

So between unfinished business of Alicia’s, and a dangerous case threatening the Blackhart family, Quinn is determined to both woo Alicia and keep her safe—which is going to make for one wild, sexy ride.

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Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this story, not just for the romance, but also the family camaraderie. I would love to belong to the Blackhart family. They poke fun at each other and get a little crazy, but when things get tough, they jump in to have each other’s backs. Quinn was definitely swoon-worthy and rather romantic. I wish his style of protection didn’t include constantly keeping Alicia in the dark. To me it effected the flow of the story. I didn’t warm up to Alicia right from the start, she was too deep into her past for me to relate to. But I understood her more as information was doled out and her personality began to come through. I’m glad, because then I was more invested in them both and cheered as they moved into a very sexy love-story. I also need to mention that the mysterious background story had me happily guessing until the end. I do wish more information was shared with the reader throughout the story because someone would get a call, faces were grim, then they rushed off to god knows where. Plopping the reader into the next scene to wait for the information to be shared. That is why I rated it a 4 and not a 5. Overall I loved the book and can’t wait for the next one.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Excerpt

Quinn

That lass does my head in. I don’t know how she can annoy the fuck out of me and turn me on so much I forget my own name at the same time. My body wants to go after her, but my mind is telling me to stay put.

My brothers and I have been on rotation to watch over Erin. Ma and Da left a while ago so Ma could shower in her own home and spend time with the babes. Kasey and Molly need their grandma. All of this is a big adjustment for the family. I think we’re all exhausted.

I can’t say the last time my mum didn’t stay overnight here at the hospital, with my da right by her side. I was happy to sit in while they take some time away. However, now my jaw ticks as I watch the swaying hips of the woman who’s been on my mind for a week.

I need to talk to her. That call went all wrong the other night. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m nothing but awkward when it comes to dating. Still, that woman made it a hell of a lot harder to try to ask her out.

I twist my lips into a frown as I watch her walk away. Trenton walks past her in the hallway, turning his head to watch her go by. I release a growl, feeling possessive and irritated.

“Now, that’s a looker.” He whistles when he enters the room.

“Stay here,” I snap at him.

“Wait, what?” he calls after me, but I’m already in motion.

My long legs eat up the floor as I head in the direction Alicia retreated in. I have her in sight as the elevator arrives. She steps in and the doors go to shut. I get there just in time to stick my foot in the way of them closing.

The lift makes a dinging sound as it opens wide. Alicia looks up from her phone as I step on. Our eyes lock and I close the distance between us. She drops her head down shyly to break the connection. She has to feel the same thing I feel. This energy that’s charging the tight space between us has a pulse.

The elevator chimes and others begin to crowd on, causing us to move closer together. Alicia tries to take a step back, but my hand shoots out. It lands protectively on her waist, drawing her into me to shield her.

I trap a groan between my lips when her soft curves press against me. She still won’t look up at me, but she doesn’t wiggle out of my hold either. She feels so right this close.

I dip my head to whisper in her ear, “We need to talk.”

She lifts her head to look at me, her lush lips are parted, begging me to kiss them. I’m this close to listening. The lift stops again, allowing more passengers onto the car.

Alicia places her hands on my chest as we’re squished more closely. The look in her eyes tells me I’m not alone in this. She indeed feels it too.

When we reach the lobby, the crowd starts to exit. I maneuver her body in front of mine to cover her as I lead her out. She relaxes into my hold on her waist, causing me to have hope that this won’t be a fight.

As soon as we get off the car, my newfound confidence implodes. A stony-faced Kevin is standing outside the elevator. When he turns his eyes to me, I know my talk with Alicia is going to have to wait.

“We need to talk,” Kevin says gruffly.

“I should be going anyway,” Alicia rushes out.

She tries to take off, but I wrap my fingers around her forearm to stop her forward motion. She turns to look back at me. I grind my teeth against the electric current that zaps straight up my arm.

“This isn’t over. We’ll be having that talk,” I say before releasing her.

“Not such a good idea, but it was nice seeing you again. I’ll keep Erin in my prayers,” she replies softly.

Excerpted from Calling on Quinn by Blue Saffire. © 2020 by Blue Saffire. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Giveaway

3 Copies of CALLING ON QUINN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

As a young girl, Blue’s mother introduced her to the world of love and music through movies, but once she got her hands onbooks, an author was born. With more than thirty contemporary romance novels and novellas under her belt, she’s now an award-winning, bestselling author. She lives with her husband on Long Island.

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