Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: WILD RIDE by Julie Ann Walker

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WILD RIDE (Black Knights Inc. Book 9) by Julie Ann Walker

Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

IMG_7410The hero we’ve all been waiting for…

Ethan “Ozzie” Sykes
Former Navy SEAL

Underground operator for Black Knights Inc., the covert government defense firm disguised as a custom motorcycle shop

In a black-on-black international mission that went seriously sideways, Ozzie was badly injured—now he’s stuck at BKI headquarters in Chicago, champing at the bit to get out into the field again. To his disgust, he’s tasked with distracting Chicago Tribune ace reporter Samantha Tate, who’s been trying to dig up the dirt on BKI for years. Turns out Samantha’s beauty, intelligence and sense of humor are a seriously big distraction, and Ozzie’s losing his desire to keep her at bay.

Ozzie’s tired of hiding, and Samantha may be the best—and worst—person to share his secrets with…

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This is my favorite Black Knights Inc. Even though I’ve thought the same on each one I’ve read. The banter between Ozzie and Christian was so much fun, and Samantha showed that she could hold her own with Ozzie as well. I found it fascinating that Ozzie and Samantha – both involved with communication in one form or another – had trouble with the one-on-one communication. I’m not complaining, it added a great element to the story. The romance was smoking and realistic in its progression. (I want an Ozzie!) Then you add the danger and action to get a well-rounded romantic suspense novel. The bad-guy was perfect for this story. This is one that I will read again…especially when it’s time to gear-up for the next installment, Ms. Walker has my interest peaked for that!

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

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Excerpt

Full situational awareness…
It was a phrase the Navy SEALs used to describe an operator’s ability to focus on a million things at once and quickly come to conclusions about who or what in his environment posed a potential problem. As far as Ozzie could figure, his environment posed three potential problems.
The first was Janie. She was gearing up to make another pass at him. He could see it in her come-and-get-me-big-boy stare. And what the hell was Gloria thinking? That he was some toy to be passed around? Sure, he deserved an ass-kicking for not immediately recognizing her. But in his defense, they’d only had sex once. And besides being a brunette back then, she’d also been about twenty pounds heavier. And just to be clear, she was the one who never called him back.
Pretty much the story of my life, he thought, quickly followed by, Damn you, self-pity!
His second problem was Samantha. Something was off with her. He hadn’t noticed it at first, but then he’d detected the edge in her voice, the slight trembling of her lips. Both subtle tells had increased exponentially after she read that text message. Not good. The woman was like one of those damned truffle pigs when it came to sniffing out trouble, and the thought of her pretty neck on someone’s chopping block had anger burning low in his belly and fear crawling up his spine like a poisonous spider.
And then there was problema número tres, otherwise known as the big, burly biker who had shouldered his way into the bar. He was wearing the colors of the Basilisk MC, one of Chicago’s true-blue motorcycle clubs, and the expression on his face said he hadn’t come in for a drink. He was searching for someone. His eyes were barely visible between his shaggy hairline and the dark beard that grew up over his cheeks, but they zeroed on Samantha’s back as she made her way down the long hall leading to the restrooms, making it seem that he’d found his quarry.
Ozzie’s heart rate spiked, the feeling as familiar as breathing. The blood rushing through the injured muscles of his thigh caused them to twitch, and the resulting pain was also now as familiar as breathing. He tried to take comfort in that. Pain meant life. He should be grateful to still be alive. He was grateful to still be alive. Even if it appeared that his life wasn’t going to be anything like what he had planned or hoped.
“Heads up,” he murmured casually.
“I see him.” Christian took a slow sip of his beer as they watched the biker skirt around tables until he stopped at the high-top closest to the mouth of the hallway.
“Hard to tell what he’s packing beneath his cut,” Ozzie observed. Cut was the term bikers used to describe the jackets that sported their colors and patches. Those colors and patches not only told the world which MC the rider was affiliated with, but also who the rider was within the MC and the various things the rider had done for the MC. According to this dude’s patches, he was the sergeant at arms, the enforcer for the Basilisks, and he’d killed for his club. More than once.
Well, piss, shit, and suck a potato dick.
“Judging by the size of that bulge,” Christian speculated, his accent thickened with adrenaline as he nonchalantly unhooked his heels from the brass footrail and prepared to make a move, “I should think it’s either a small sidearm or a bloody big knife.”
“Trouble brewing?” Delilah asked beneath her breath, coming over to them and pretending to wipe down the bar. “First time I’ve ever had a Basilisk in my place.”
“You still got that sawed-off back there?” Ozzie asked. One of the many things they all appreciated about Delilah was the shotgun with the aftermarket shortened barrel she was known to keep behind the bar.
A faint smile curved her lips. “Wouldn’t leave home without it.”
“Good,” he told her. “If shit goes sideways, I want you to grab that scatter gun and duck down behind the bar.”
“But—” she started, only to have Christian cut her off.
“Oy. Shut your gobs. Here comes Samantha.” When Christian got really worked up, a little cockney slipped into his highbrow London speech.
But Samantha wasn’t coming. Oh, no. She was running. Running out the door leading to the alley like the place was burning down behind her.

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Black Knights Inc. Series Set

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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IMG_7397Julie Ann Walker is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She’ll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: UNDISCOVERED (Amoveo Rising) by Sara Humphreys

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UNDISCOVERED (Amoveo Rising) by Sara Humphreys

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

IMG_7106He’s the man of her dreams

A long time ago, Zander Lorens was cursed to walk the earth stripped of his Dragon Clan powers. Every night, trapped in a recurring nightmare, Zander relives his darkest moment. He can hardly believe it when the dream changes and a beautiful young woman appears. Zander believes she’s the key to ending his torment. Finding her in the real world is one thing, but how will he convince her of who—and what—she really is?

She’s the end to his nightmare

Rena McHale uses her unique sensitivity as a private investigator, touting herself as a “human divining rod” and finder of the lost. By day she struggles with sensory overload, and by night her sleep is haunted by a fiery dragon shifter. Nothing in her life makes sense, until the man from her dreams shows up at her door with a proposition…

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Excerpt

Rena McHale stood at the center of the small office with broken glass littering the wooden floor around her feet, seemingly unaware that her eyes had shifted. An Amoveo would never allow their clan eyes to be seen by a stranger who was presumably a human.
“You’re bleeding,” he blurted out.
“Damn it,” she hissed.
She had blood dripping from her right hand and the other was balled into a fist, ready to fight. Rena McHale was every bit as beautiful in person as she had been in the dreamrealm.
Scratch that. More so. The woman was breathtaking.
Chestnut-colored hair cut in a chin-length bob and highlighted with bright-red streaks framed the determined expression on her oval-shaped face. Irritation and a hint of surprise danced in her brown eyes, which were flecked with gold. She was dressed in a simple blue suit with a crisp, white shirt unbuttoned just enough so he could see the curve of her cleavage.
“Staring at my boobs after you barge into my office is a ballsy move, my friend.”
Zander flicked his gaze back to hers, and the moment their eyes locked, it sent a shock straight to his dick. Son of a bitch. That’ll wake a man up. He bit back the urge to swear out loud. The woman was bleeding and he was ogling her like a creep. He made a mental note to keep his eyes on her face.
That wouldn’t be a problem.
“Sorry,” Zander murmured. He took a step back and raised both hands as if in surrender but pointed at the blood dripping onto the floor. “You want some help with that, or do you just wanna bleed to death?”
She sighed. “That seems a little dramatic.”
She arched one dark eyebrow and stepped over the broken remnants of what looked like a glass of water before grabbing a roll of paper towels off a file cabinet. She tore off a large wad and immediately pressed it to her wound while eyeing him warily.
“How can I help you?”
“You might need stitches,” he said quietly. “There’s a lot of blood.”
“It looks worse than it is. I’ll throw a couple of butterfly bandages on it.” She gave him a quick once-over but didn’t make a move toward him. “I heal like a champ, but thanks for your concern.”
He bet she did. Amoveo were known for their ability to heal swiftly. Even a hybrid like Rena would enjoy that particular gift. A hybrid. He still couldn’t wrap his brain around this piece of the puzzle. His brows knit together as she pulled a first aid kit from the bottom file cabinet drawer and swiftly tended to the cut on her hand while keeping one eye on him.
When had the Amoveo started breeding with humans, and why the hell doesn’t she know what she is? Where were her people? He glanced around the office. There were no personal pictures anywhere. It was sparse and strictly business.
This was going to be more difficult than he thought.
“Do you always barge into people’s offices, sir?”
“Only when I hear a woman scream.” He dropped his hands to his side and kept his voice low. “Breaking glass and screaming don’t usually bring good news.”
“True,” she said with a small smile. “Now that you know I’m not a damsel in distress and only a little clumsy, tell me who you are and why you’re here.”
“It’s my brother.”
“Hold on.” Rena tossed the bloodied paper towels and bandage wrappers into the garbage can next to the desk. “Let’s start with your name.”
“Zander.”
She smirked and gingerly smoothed the bandage over the side of her palm. “Last name?”
“Lorens.” He stuck out his left hand and slowly closed the space between them. The light, sweet scent of pears wafted over him, and he couldn’t help but breathe a little deeper as he got closer. It was a stark contrast to the city she lived in. “Zander Lorens.”
Rena shook her head and laughed while waving her injured right hand. He stilled as the light, musical sound of her amusement hit him in seductive waves. His gut tightened with need, which was disarming and disconcerting.
“Right.” He cleared his throat, quickly dropping his arm. “Sorry.”
Just as well. What was he thinking? Touching her would not be a smart move. Zander’s body was sending signals that were confusing the hell out of his brain. He would keep his distance. Nature had messed up once before and it was up to him to make it right.

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I’m so excited about this new spinoff series! UNDISCOVERED is the first book in Sara Humphreys’ Amoveo Rising series featuring a new Dragon Clan that is set in her Amoveo world. I would rommend reading the Amoveo Legends series before starting this one, but it can be read as a standalone. I’m obsessed with dragon shifters and I love this new spinoff storyline. UNDISCOVERED has plenty of action, mystery and smoking hot romance. Zander and Rena were explosive together and I loved their story. I highly rcommend this series for paranormal romance lovers. I can’t wait to get my hands on the the next book!

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

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Buy Links

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2iMntmz
iBooks: http://apple.co/2mawZBq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2maoC97
B&N: http://bit.ly/2kZXo8I

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2msM0S2

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Giveaway

Complete Set of Sara Humphreys’ Amoveo Legend Series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Sara Humphreys is the award-winning author of paranormal and contemporary romance including shapeshifter and vampire stories, and contemporary romance about firefighters, police officers, and K9 cops. A public speaker and speaker trainer, Sara lives with her husband and four sons in Bronxville, New York.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: TALK COWBOY TO ME by Carolyn Brown

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TALK COWBOY TO ME (Lucky Cowboys Book 4) by Carolyn Brown

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Genre: Western Romance

Synopsis

IMG_7089One cowboy. One cowgirl. One ranch.

Who will win the Double Deuce by the Fourth of July?

Adele O’Donnell knew that Double Deuce Ranch had to be hers the second she walked onto the property. Freshly divorced, she sees it as the perfect spot for her and the kids to start a new life. Remington Luckadeau was always a carefree playboy…until his suddenly orphaned nephews became his responsibility.

The Double Deuce Ranch would be the perfect place to raise two boys. But some fiery woman is fighting him for it, and Remington is not sharing-no matter how the sparks fly when he and Adele are together.

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Excerpt

The gleam in the old cowboy’s blue eyes and the way he rubbed his chin were Adele’s first clues that he definitely had something up the sleeve of his faded, old work shirt. He glanced first at her and then over at Remington Luckadeau.
She bit back a groan. The good old boys’ club was about to rear its head. They’d argue that ranching took brawn and muscle and that a woman couldn’t run the Double Deuce all alone, that women were respected in the ranching business these days, but when it came right down to it, he would feel better selling to a man.
No, sir!
She didn’t hold out any hope that the old toot would sell the ranch to her.
“Well, now.” Walter Jones gave his freshly shaven chin one more rub. “I expect we’ve got us one of them dilemma things, don’t we?”
That sly smile on Remington’s face said he already knew she would be going home empty-handed. With that mop of blond hair that kissed his shirt collar, those steel-blue eyes, and his chiseled face and wide shoulders—Lord have mercy—any woman would roll over and play dead to give him what he wanted.
But not Adele.
She wanted the Double Deuce, and she’d do whatever it took to get it so she could have a place to raise her daughters. Remington Luckadeau could spit on his knuckles and get ready for a fierce battle.
The Double Deuce Ranch was absolutely perfect in every aspect. The two-storied, four-bedroom house couldn’t have been better laid out for Adele and her two daughters, Jett and Bella. The acreage was big enough to make a living but small enough she could manage it on her own, for the most part. And it was close to her family—the O’Donnells over around Ringgold, Texas.
“You both want the ranch, but I can only sell to one of you. I talked to my lady friend, Vivien, about it. I talked to God about it before I went to sleep, and I talked to my old cow dog, Boss, about it this mornin’ before y’all got here.”
“And?” Adele asked.
“And not a one of them was a bit of help, so I don’t know which one of you to sell this place to any more than I did yesterday, after you’d both come and looked over the place and left me to think about it.”
Adele had known there was another person interested in the ranch. Walter had been up-front about that, saying he’d talked with Remington Luckadeau that morning and he was ready to meet Walter’s asking price.
“We can’t both buy it, so I guess you’ll have to make a decision,” Adele said.
Remington nodded.
***
Remington slid down in the kitchen chair so he could study the red-haired woman sitting in front of him. The hard Texas sunlight flowing through the kitchen window brought out every cute, little freckle sprinkled across Adele’s nose. Faded jeans, a chambray shirt worn open over a bright-yellow tank top, and cowboy boots worn at the heels said she was a no-nonsense rancher.
Those two feisty girls out there on the porch with his two nephews were dressed pretty much the same way as their mother. Any other time, he might have tipped his hat and given her the option to buy the Double Deuce, but not today. The ranch was the perfect size for what he had in his bank account. The house would be just right for him and his two nephews, Leo and Nick, the boys he’d inherited when his brother and sister-in-law were killed in a car accident several months ago. And besides, it wasn’t far from his Luckadeau relatives in Ringgold and Saint Jo, Texas.
So today, Adele O’Donnell was going to have to walk away disappointed. Too bad, because he’d always been attracted to redheads, and he’d have loved to see how she felt in his arms on the dance floor of the nearest honky-tonk.
“So.” Walter cleared his throat. “I’ve come to a decision.”
Remy straightened up in his chair.
“The Luckadeaus are my friends, but so are the O’Donnells. So I can’t sell this to either of you on the basis of friendship. Vivien and I have planned a monthlong cruise, and we are leaving in one week. We fly out of Dallas on the last day of May and get back home on the last day of June.”
“I’ll beat your asking price,” Remy said quickly.
“It’s not got to do with money. Here’s what I am willin’ to do, though. You both move in here on the morning that me and Vivien leave. Y’all take care of this ranch for me for a month. When I get back, whichever one of you is still here can have it. If you both still want it, we’ll draw straws or play poker for it. If you decide you can’t work together or that the ranch ain’t what you want, you can call Chet to come take over for you. His number is on the front of the refrigerator. Only rule I’ve got is that you’d best take good care of Boss. He’s been a good cow dog, and he likes leftovers from the table, so cook a little extra at each meal. He’s not real picky. He’ll eat most anything a human will, but he doesn’t like pizza. And you have to take real good care of Jerry Lee.”
“Who is Jerry Lee?” Adele asked.
“He’s my rooster. Pretty little thing, but he never has learned to crow in the morning. He’s a late riser, so he crows either in the middle of the day or about dinnertime. I named him Jerry Lee because he’s got swagger and he sings real pretty like Jerry Lee Lewis.”
“I’ll take good care of your dog and your rooster,” Adele said, shooting a defiant look right at Remy.
“So will I.” Remy nodded coolly. “What about the one who doesn’t win the luck of the draw?”
“Then that one gets a decent paycheck,” Walter said.
“I don’t need to think about it,” Adele said quickly. “I’m in.”
Remy nodded. “I don’t have to think about it either.”
Walter pushed back his chair and stood. “Good, then I’ll look for you both to be here a week from today. You’ve seen the place. There’ll be hay to cut and haul, fields to plow, and planting to do, as well as the everyday chores with feeding and taking care of the cattle and ranch. I’ve made a list of what I want done before I get back, and I’ll leave it stuck to the refrigerator door.”
“I’m not afraid of hard work,” Adele said. “One question, though. How does Boss feel about cats?”
“Strange as it seems, he loves them. My wife, God rest her soul”—Walter looked up at the ceiling—“used to have an old barn cat that had kittens real often. Boss thought he was their grandpa.”
“Then you don’t mind if we bring our cat?” she asked.
“Not a bit. You got a problem with that, Remy?” Walter asked.
Remy shook his head.
“Thank you,” Adele said softly.
Crap! Remy didn’t hate cats, and thank God the boys weren’t allergic to them, but that soft, sweet, southern voice could easily distract him from his mission. Remy would have to keep on his toes every day for the entire month of June, and that wouldn’t be easy. For years, every woman had been a potential notch on his bedpost. Six months ago, Remy had been the resident bad boy of the Texas Panhandle. He’d spent his weekends in local bars, dancing and sweet-talking the pretty girls into his bed. Then his whole life turned around when his two nephews were tossed into his life. Since he’d started taking care of them, dating had slowed down. Now, he’d be forced to live with a woman he was clearly attracted to.
Walter started toward the door. The meeting was over. “Just bring your personal things. When I sell this place, it goes lock, stock, and barrel—furniture, equipment, everything but my own keepsakes,” he said. “Vivien and I are leaving at nine o’clock. If one of y’all ain’t here, then the other one will automatically get the place.”
Adele pushed her chair back, and in one fluid motion, she was on her feet. He’d figured she was tall when he sat down across from her and his long legs almost touched hers under the table. But when she stood up, he got the full effect of the way her hips curved out from her small waist, and for a split second, he could feel her in his arms.
Remy shook the image from his head. He had a long, hot month ahead of him, and he needed to think of Adele as an adversary, not a potential date.
“Do we move?” Nick asked when Remy stepped out onto the porch.
“We are moving onto the ranch to take care of it for Mr. Jones for a month. If we do a good job, he might sell to us in time for the Fourth of July party we’re planning.” Remy told his fourteen-year-old nephew.
“Mama?” asked the smaller of the two girls that Adele had brought along with her.
“Same thing here, girls. We’ll be moving here in one week to live for a month. Then Mr. Jones will decide which of us gets to buy the ranch,” Adele answered.
“You”—the girl pointed at Leo and wiggled her head like a bobblehead doll—“are going down. You don’t know jack squat about a ranch, so you might as well give up before you even start.”
“Jett!” Adele chided.
“Well, it’s the truth,” Jett said. “He don’t even want to live on a ranch. He’s a city boy who don’t even know who Billy Currington is. He’d hate living on this ranch.”
“Just because you lived on a ranch don’t mean you’re that smart,” Nick shot back. “Uncle Remy can teach me everything about ranching in one afternoon. I’m a fast learner.”
“Me, too.” Leo combed his carrot-red hair with his fingertips and tipped up his chin three notches.
“Okay, boys. It’s one thing to say something; it’s another to do it. Let’s get on home and get our things in order so we’ll be ready to move next week. There’s only four bedrooms, so you’ll have to share.”
Leo, who had already left the porch, kicked at the dirt. “Uncle Remy, Nick gripes if I even leave a wrinkle in the bed. He’s so neat that he shoulda been a girl.” He sighed.
“No!” Nick raised his voice. “Leo never picks up anything and—”
“Enough,” Remy said. “Into the truck. We’ve got a lot to do and a short time to get it done.”
Leo crawled into the big, black, dual-cab truck. Just before he slammed the door, he caught Jett’s eye and stuck out his tongue.
“Young man, you’re going to have to live in the same house and work with those girls,” Remy said sternly.
Leo rolled his eyes upward. “They are so bossy. Living in the country isn’t going to be easy, but living around those two prissy girls…” He sighed. “Do we really have to do this, Uncle Remy?”
“We’ll come out stronger men,” he said.
A picture of Adele’s full, kissable lips flashed through his mind. Prissy wasn’t a word he’d use to describe any of the O’Donnell women.
Nick groaned. “If we live through it.”
“We are Luckadeau men. We’ll take the bull by the horns, look him right in the eye, and dare him to charge at us.” Even as the words came out, Remy wondered if he was talking to his nephews or himself.
“I’d rather fight a bull,” Leo grumbled. “And they ain’t bulls. They’re girls, and we’re Luckadeaus.”
“Daddy used to tell us that when a Luckadeau sets his mind, it’s set forever,” Nick said.
“Your daddy was right.” Remy nodded.
Moving the boys from their house in the middle of Denton, Texas, to a ranch would be tough on them, but Remy could not live in town. He’d been fortunate enough to sell his brother’s house for enough to pay off the existing mortgage and put a little into savings for the boys’ college funds.
Remy had worked for the past fifteen years on a ranch out in the Texas Panhandle. He’d started as a hired hand and worked his way up to foreman. Today, he had enough money in his bank account to buy the Double Deuce, and it was the perfect place for the boys to have a brand-new start. It damn sure wouldn’t be easy to live in the same house with a woman like Adele and not flirt, but it was doable with the ranch as a prize at the end of the road.
“So you boys going to help me make those women see that they don’t really want our ranch? Or are we going to let them win?” Remy asked.
“Ain’t no way I’m going to back down from them two,” Nick declared.
Leo chimed right in. “Me either.”
***
“Let’s look at another ranch. I don’t want to live in the same house with those two obnoxious boys,” Bella said as they drove away from the Double Deuce.
Adele smiled. “You must really not like those boys to be pulling out your four-dollar words.”
“That tells you how much, Mama,” Bella said.
“We don’t have time to train them,” Jett added.
Adele didn’t think they’d have to do much training. Not with a cowboy like Remy Luckadeau for an uncle. That man was comfortable in his skin, and there wasn’t a doubt in her mind that he’d know the business every bit as well as she did. In any other circumstance, there could be chemistry between them. He was exactly what she’d always been attracted to, with his blond hair, blue eyes, and cowboy swagger, but then he was also what she’d been running away from when she’d married Isaac Levy.
You see how that turned out, the smart-ass voice in her head said.
Yes, she did see how it turned out. Isaac was the only son of a family who had dealt in diamonds right in the middle of Dallas, Texas, for more than fifty years. When they’d married, he’d moved Adele into his penthouse apartment, and she’d lived the life she’d thought she wanted.
Right up until Bella was born two years after the wedding. And then she’d started to yearn for her country roots. A child needed fresh air and sunshine, not parties and nannies. Isaac had loved her enough to buy a two-hundred-acre ranch between McKinney and Blue Ridge. The commute wasn’t bad because he had a driver, but after Jett was born, he spent more and more weeknights at the penthouse.
“Why do we have to move from our ranch anyway?” Jett folded her small arms over her chest.
“The same reason we had to change our last name to O’Donnell,” Bella answered. “Father has a new wife and a son, and we don’t matter anymore.”
Her daughter’s tone created a lump in Adele’s throat that she couldn’t swallow down. Tears welled in her eyes, but she kept them at bay. Bella had put it into the simplest language possible, but the story was far more complex than that.
“Your father will come to his senses someday,” she said softly.
“But it might be too late,” Bella declared. “He’s mean, making us move off the ranch.”
It wasn’t the time or the place to tell the girls that part of the marriage problems had been her fault. Isaac thought he was getting a socialite who loved the fast lane, and he never would have asked her to marry him if he’d realized she wasn’t ready to break all ties with her country roots.
“We are going to love this new ranch so much that we’ll never look back at the old one. Even though they don’t have any ranching experience, I just wonder if you two are big and mean enough to show those two boys that nobody can outwork three tough O’Donnell women.”
Jett unfolded her arms, leaned up from the backseat of the bright-red, dual-cab truck, and patted her mother on the shoulder. “They ain’t got a chance in hell.”
“Jett!” Bella scolded.
“Well, Uncle Cash says that, and nobody fusses at him. Besides, I believe it. We’re tough and mean, and we can out-ranch any old boy in the state of Texas,” Jett said.
“We’ve got a week to pack all our things, put them in storage, and load up the truck with just what we need for a month,” Adele said as she turned east toward Gainesville.
Adele’s cell phone rang. She saw a picture of her sister, Cassie, smiling at her. She answered it on the fourth ring and hit the Speaker button.
“We have not bought the ranch yet,” she said and went on to tell her sister the deal that Walter had come up with.
Cassie giggled the whole way through the story.
“What’s so funny about that?” Adele asked.
“Those boys don’t stand a chance. Not any one of them—the grown one or the two kids,” Cassie said. “I’ll put my money on my sister and my nieces any day of the week.”
“Yes!” Bella and Jett squealed at the same time.
“Thank you, Aunt Cassie. We won’t let you down,” Jett said.
“What are you doing today?” Adele asked her sister.
“Haulin’ hay, but I’d rather be doing something else in the hayloft with my boyfriend,” Cassie said.
“Cassandra Grace O’Donnell!” Adele raised her voice.
“Don’t you double name me. Only Mama gets to do that, and I was talking about kissing my boyfriend. He’s really good at kissing.” Cassie laughed.
“I miss y’all,” Adele said wistfully. “If I get to buy this ranch, I’m having a big Fourth of July party to celebrate. Y’all had better be there.”
“Wild horses couldn’t keep me away. Is this new cowboy sexy? Maybe I’ll visit for a weekend between now and then,” Cassie said.
“No!” The girls’ loud voices bounced around in the truck cab.
“Why? Don’t you want to see me?” Cassie asked.
“We love you,” Bella said. “But we don’t want Remy Luckadeau in the family at all, and if he sees you, then he’ll fall in love with you. Besides, we like Clinton just fine. Go kiss on him in the hayloft, and stay away until the ranch belongs to us.”
“If you promise to work hard and show Mr. Jones that you are the right people to sell his ranch to, then I’ll stay away until you’ve run those old boys off your land. But, girls, Clinton and I broke up a while ago,” Cassie said seriously. “The new man in my life is Dusty Dillard. We’ve only been on two dates, but I like him a lot.”
“Is he as pretty as Clinton?” Bella asked.
“No, but he’s a lot nicer,” Cassie said.
“I thought Clinton was nice, and I like his name better than Dusty,” Jett said.
“Wait until you meet him. Are you taking Blanche?” Cassie asked.
“Of course,” Jett answered quickly. “We wouldn’t leave her behind. Mama, please tell me that man didn’t say we couldn’t bring Blanche.”
“I asked about bringing a cat and he said it was fine,” Adele said.
Cassie laughed again. “The old hussy would die if you left her. Besides, isn’t she about ready to pop out another litter in the next couple of weeks?”
“Yes, she is,” Bella said. “And I hope both of them boys hate cats.”
“And you, Sister Adele? How do you feel about living with a cowboy?”
“I’m not living with him. I’m sharing a house with him for a month. And don’t call me Sister Adele. I’m not a nun,” Adele said curtly.
“These past two years you have been. Promise you’ll call me often,” she said. “Got to go. The hay wagon is here, and it’s time to stack bales.”
Adele hit the End button, and the screen on the phone went dark. She caught a movement in her peripheral vision and glanced over to see two little boys glaring at her from the windows of a black truck. A whole month with those two smart-ass kids just might make her move all the way to Wyoming or Montana.
She looked in the rearview mirror, and there was Jett, giving the boys the old stink eye. In seconds, they sped on past her, whipped over in front of her truck, and moved on ahead pretty quickly. No doubt about it—this was going to be a long month!

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle http://amzn.to/2n2Sg4p
Amazon Paperback http://amzn.to/2n2RC6N

Amazon Series Link: http://amzn.to/2lGWRst

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Giveaways

Bundle of Carolyn Brown books

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the author

Carolyn Brown Author bio picNew York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than sixty books.

Brown presently writes both women’s fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title and contemporary series. She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: HER TRUE MATCH (X-Ops) by Paige Tyler

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HER TRUE MATCH (X-Ops Book 6) by Paige Tyler

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

img_6956FORCED TOGETHER

When feline shifter Dreya Clark is escorted from the police interrogation by two secret agents, she thinks she’s dodged a bullet. That sexy detective Braden Hayes caught her stealing red-handed. When she finds out what she has to do to stay out of jail, suddenly she’s missing the hot cop with the piercing gaze. She’s being recruited for her shifter abilities by the Department of Covert Operations.

WILL DANGER RIP THEM APART?

Braden has been chasing the smart-mouthed cat burglar for years. But when Dreya’s taken away, he knows their game of cat and mouse has turned deadly-serious. There’s no way he’ll let her go off alone. Fur flies and temperatures flare as Braden realizes Dreya is much more than she appears. Thrown together on a dangerous covert mission, this unlikely pair will have to rely on each other to make it out alive.

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A Little Known Fact from Her True Match . . .

Thomas Thorn is the senior member of the Committee, the shadowy collection of senators and representatives who pulls the strings at the DCO. He’s also about as evil as they come. He’s been behind most of the attempts to turn normal humans into shifters—also known as hybrids—even if it kills them. The good guys at the DCO are getting closer to pinning everything on the man, but they still need a few critical pieces to put him away forever. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance the man knows they’re coming after him.

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Donna review 4.5 stars

I enjoyed this installment of the X-Ops series. I knew with Dreya being introduced in the last book, that this would be all about her, and it was. I liked the way you understood why she and Braden behaved the way they did. Well, some things seemed to jump forward, but for the most part, they acted as expected for their characters. They sure made a smoking hot couple that easily moved past sexual and in to a real partnership. The beginning was more about building their relationship and then moved in to non-stop action and danger. A real page-turner that sure didn’t end the way I expected. Good book.

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

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Excerpt

“How do you know I wasn’t testing the security system?” Dreya asked, her lips curving into a coy smile.

Braden sat across from the beautiful thief in one of the burglary section’s interrogation rooms, working hard to keep from smiling back at her. Even though he knew her record backward and forward, he was still having a hell of a time maintaining a professional detachment. He was good in the interrogation room, but Dreya was better. She charmed, she flirted, and she controlled where she wanted the conversation to go. Braden had already been forced to toss Mick out of the room. His partner had come damn close to asking their suspect out on a date, even though she was sitting at the table wearing a pair of handcuffs.

Though Braden had to admit she made the cuffs look good. Even now, she was sitting at the table with her long, blond hair cascading around her shoulders, talking animatedly with her hands as if the heavy stainless steel cuffs were a fashion accessory. He wasn’t even sure when she’d gotten her hair out of the braid it had been in before, but he had the crazy urge to run his fingers through it. He resisted—barely. Dreya had been saying since they’d brought her in that this was all a big misunderstanding and that she could straighten this out if she could talk privately with the owner of the art piece they seemed to think she’d stolen. Like that was going to happen. Something told Braden that putting her in the same room with some rich playboy would be an incredibly bad idea. All she had to do was bat those hazel-green eyes at him a few times and tousle her hair with her fingers, and the guy would agree with anything she said. Hell, the guy would probably give her the silly blue balloon dog thing sitting on the table between them as a gift.

“If we’re going to talk about security systems, Dreya, let’s start with how you managed to climb the wall of that apartment on the south side of M Street. Because I gotta tell you, that was damn impressive.”

He expected her to deny it had been her—or beam with pride at the compliment—but her eyes widened in shock. For the first time that night, there was fear on her face.

“You saw that?” She darted a nervous glance at the one-way glass mirror to her left, the one Mick was standing behind.

He nodded. “Sure did. In fact, we have it all on video. The climb, the walk across the cable, the jump you made to the balcony.”

On the other side of the table, her face went pale. Shit, was she starting to hyperventilate?

“How many people have seen the video?” she demanded.

Braden frowned. Why the hell was a second-story thief worried about how many cops had seen her display her talents? That made no sense.

“Just my partner and me,” he assured her. “But while the video is amazing, it doesn’t explain how you were able to scale that wall. Were you using something on your hands to get a grip? I searched your bag but didn’t find anything.”

Dreya swallowed hard. In all of the previous occasions he’d questioned her, she’d been confident and posed, but suddenly it was like she’d been hit by lightning. She seemed off balance…lost.

“You can’t let anyone else see the video,” she said.

He shrugged. “That’s not really up to me.”

She stared at her cuffed wrists, her shoulders slumping in a defeat he hadn’t seen coming. “What if I confess?”

She said it so softly he wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly. “What?”

Dreya lifted her head to look at him, that usual glimmer missing from her eyes now. “If I confess right now, will you destroy the video?”

Braden hoped to hell his mouth wasn’t hanging open. Being interrogated by the cops could make people say strange stuff, but Dreya had to know that even with the evidence they had on her, a woman with her background and clean record could likely get a case like this whittled down from the standard five to seven to less than two years. Why would she agree to a written confession? What the hell was on that video she was so terrified of letting anyone see?

He knew he needed to be careful, but right then it was hard to think of Dreya as the hardened criminal he’d always believed. He was smart enough to know she wasn’t a saint, but there was something going on here. She was so terrified she was on the verge of tears.

The sudden aura of vulnerability had his heart beating hard and fast. The urge to protect her from whatever was freaking her out was impossible to ignore. Part of the reason he’d become a cop was to help people in trouble, and Dreya definitely seemed to be in trouble.

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Buy Links

Kindle http://amzn.to/2llK1jt | Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/2llYZpx

Amazon Series Link: http://amzn.to/2iVodIY

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Giveaway

Enter to win one of ten copies of Her Perfect Mate, the first book in Paige Tyler’s thrilling X-Ops Series

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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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: CHAIN REACTION (Bodyguard Series) by Tara Wyatt

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CHAIN REACTION (Bodyguard Series) by Tara Wyatt

Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Synopsis

img_6878SHE NEEDS A LOVER AND A FIGHTER

Blonde. Beautiful. Talented. Alexa Fairfax is practically Hollywood royalty. But growing up in a family of legendary movie stars also puts her in the spotlight for danger. And after she discovers a plot more deadly than any movie script, Alexa desperately needs a bodyguard. A man like Zack De Luca. A true friend with a good heart, a protective nature-and the hard, chiseled muscles to back it up.

Zack has always been wildly attracted to Alexa. But since he’s training day and night to be an MMA fighter, he’s afraid his gorgeous friend will only distract him from his goal. Indescribably sweet and irresistibly sexy, Alexa needs Zack to pretend to be her boyfriend after her life is threatened. Now this fighter-in-training will have to fight his own intense feelings-to keep their little charade from turning into a major disaster . . .

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Excerpt

She leaned her back against the door and shut her eyes, her face ghostly white. Her hands shook as she adjusted the strap of her purse on her shoulder.

Frowning, Zack shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans and headed toward her. She smiled weakly when she saw him, her lips twitching up for a second, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. Her fingers curled around the strap of her purse, her knuckles going the same shade of white as her face. Something hot and protective tightened his chest, and for a crazy second, he wanted to reach out and pull her into his arms, to promise her that, whatever it was, she’d be okay.

Instead he stopped a few feet in front of her, his hands still in his pockets. “Alexa? You okay?”

Her eyes met his, and she sucked in a shaky breath. “I…Oh God.” She pressed her hands to her face and let out a soft sob, her shoulders trembling.

Zack yanked his hands from his pockets and pulled Alexa into his arms, cradling her against his chest. She felt so tiny, so vulnerable. She barely reached his shoulder despite the fact that she had heels on.

“What happened? Did someone hurt you?” he whispered into her light-blond hair, so fine and soft under his fingers as he stroked the back of her head. So help him God, if someone had hurt her, he would make them bleed.

She pulled back, just enough to look up at him, and he noticed the mascara smudged under her eye. He left his arms around her. It would’ve felt wrong to take them away.

She shook her head slowly, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. “I…don’t think…I can’t.”

“Do you want to go outside? Get some fresh air?” Maybe if she calmed down a little, she’d be able to tell him what the hell had her so…It was more than upset.

The poor girl was fucking spooked.

She hesitated a second before nodding. Without a word he tucked her under his arm, shielding her from the view of the other party guests. He led her down a hallway off the foyer and into the garage, where a side door led into the quiet, dark backyard. The noise from the party filtered out through the open windows, mingling with the soft gurgle of water from the pool. A cool spring breeze rustled the palm fronds and teased Alexa’s shoulder-length hair around her jaw. She brushed it aside as he led her to a stone bench off to the right, their backs to the house.

For several moments they just sat, Alexa sniffling and staring blankly at the still water of the pool. Zack stroked a hand up and down her back, hoping to comfort her in some way. He’d spent the past year as a bodyguard honing his protective instincts, and they now came to life, alarm bells ringing through his skull. Something was very, very wrong.

When she finally spoke, she surprised him with her question. “Who’s the party for? Sierra was cagey about it on the phone earlier.”

Zack glanced back at the house. “Oh. Uh, for Taylor and Colt. They got married in Vegas last weekend.”

Alexa’s head whipped around. “What? But didn’t they just get together?”

“Yeah.”

“They’re crazy.” She shook her head, but he could hear the smile in her voice.

“That’s what I said.”

Gently, she laid a hand on his arm, the tips of her fingers warm against his skin. “Are you okay?”

Fuck, she was so sweet. He was supposed to be comforting her and finding out why she’d suddenly burst into tears, and she was worried about him because his ex-girlfriend had eloped.

He laid a hand over hers, allowing himself the luxury of tracing his thumb over her delicate knuckles. “I’m fine. Just surprised, like everyone, I think. You gonna tell me what’s wrong?”

She sighed heavily. “I don’t even know where to start.” “Beginning’s usually a good place.”

She scoffed out a laugh. “That would take too long.”

He turned to face her. “Did someone hurt you? What happened, Alexa?”
A tremble coursed through her, and he wished he were wearing more than a T-shirt and jeans so that he had a jacket or a sweater to offer her. But he didn’t, so instead he pulled her close and tucked her against him. “Please tell me. I want to help.”

She swallowed thickly and looked up at him, meeting his gaze. “I…I think my dad’s a murderer and that I might be in a lot of trouble.”

Excerpted from CHAIN REACTION by Tara Wyatt. Copyright © 2017 by Tara Wyatt. Reprinted with permission of Forever. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2mzbYQP
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2kxW6wW
iBooks: http://apple.co/2k8uTnS
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2kpjT2Y
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2k8qIbQ

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Giveaway

Ten (10) Mass Market Copies of CHAIN REACTION

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

img_6877Tara Wyatt has been making up love stories ever since she fell head over heels for the Backstreet Boys almost twenty years ago. Winner of the Unpublished Winter Rose Award, Linda Howard Award of Excellence and the Heart of the West Award, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the cutest dog in the world and a husband that makes all of her heroes look like chumps.

Author Information:
Website: http://bit.ly/1TCj3tB
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kyfqy5
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kpor9l
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1WmsAe0
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2jjR4mU

Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: Flash of Fury (Endgame Ops) by Lea Griffith

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Flash of Fury (Endgame Ops, #1) by Lea Griffith

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Synopsis

img_6864Their spark is immediate

Kingston McNally lost men when someone betrayed his team, and now he’s out for retribution. His quest for the enemy’s courier leads him to Cameroon and Allie Redding, a petite Peace Corps volunteer as stubborn as she is brave. Their attraction is immediate, but Allie has secrets of her own…and she’s not giving them up easily.

But their secrets could burn them both

Allie’s life has been spent hiding in plain sight, but she’s had enough of her cloak-and-dagger existence. On her way home, her plane is hijacked—and King saves her life. But that doesn’t mean she owes him anything…even if he is the most damnably sexy man she’s ever laid eyes on. He’s got black ops and secrets written all over him, and trust is a two-way street.

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Buy Links

KindleAmazon PBKBarnes & NobleiBooks

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Author Guest Post

Favorite Action Movie Heroes

First of all, let me say thank you so much to Cori, Donna, and Bonnie Puppy for letting me hang out today. I am in my pajamas as I pen this guest post and I’m loving every minute of it. It’s my first visit (and I definitely hope not my last) to Reading in Pajamas and I’m talking about my Favorite Action Movie Heroes. If I could spice that title up any I’d add Sexy in between Favorite and Action. So in an effort to bring the heat allow me to give you my top five Favorite Sexy Action Movie Heroes. Let’s do this.

5. Bruce Willis – Tears of the Sun, 2003. “A special ops commander leads his team into the Nigerian jungle in order to rescue a doctor who will only join them if they agree to save seventy refugees too.”(IMDb) Now let’s be honest, Bruce Willis pretty much has it all going on in this movie—sexy bald head (which not everyone can work quite like Bruce can), sexy brooding scowl, sexy permanent five o’clock shadow, loyalty to his men, team, and mission, AND he can wear cammo like nobody’s business. He’s also got this big, smooshy heart under the tough exterior which pretty much sets up everything awesome for this list.

4. Arnold Schwarzenegger – Commando, 1985. “A retired elite Black Ops Commando launches a one man war against a group of South American criminals who have kidnapped his daughter.” (IMDb) “GET TO THE CHOPPER!” Come on, you knew I was going there. Big guns, bigger muscles, every world growled in that deliciously hot gruff voice, AND he can wear cammo like nobody’s business. He’s going after his kid all Katy-Bar-the-Door and if that ain’t sexy, well folks, I don’t know what it. Again, pretty much everything awesome for this list.

3. Matt Damon – Every Bourne movie forever, infinity. Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum, Legacy—please Universal, never stop making these movies. Matt Damon has it all—wicked intelligence, black ops training I cannot even fathom (and I write this stuff folks), crazy self-defense moves, AND he can wear whatever he wants like nobody’s business. He’s hotness in every frame of every movie but what really sells me on Jason Bourne’s character is that he fell in love. And even though he lost her, he never forgets her. Did I mention he’s hotness? Yeah. Can I get another “everything awesome for this list”? Thought so.

2. Tom Hardy – Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015. I can’t even list IMDb’s description for this movie. I say “Tom Hardy” and I’m all in a tizzy. Sexy brooding scowl (even better than Bruce’s), sexy dirty face for most of the film, he holds a gun LIKE A BEAST, he kills the baddies like it’s second nature, AND he wears everything and nothing like nobody’s business. He also saves women in this film—literally almost gives his life for them and…le sigh. Nothing better in a hero than a one willing to give it all up for a woman. He makes my lady parts stand up and shout, “SAVE ME!” I’m weak in the face of Tom Freaking Hardy’s awesomeness.

1. Bruce Lee – Enter the Dragon, 1973. “A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as a cover.” (IMDb) Two words: BRUCE LEE. Okay, I’ve got more words: martial arts, BRUCE LEE, washboard abs, nunchukas, BRUCE LEE, an honorable reason for fighting, AND he wears a gi like nobody’s business. This movie was my introduction to truly badass heroes who don’t stop, never give up, and are willing to sacrifice everything for the cause.

I could go on an on. You didn’t mention James Bond (though really there are too many Favorite Sexy Action Heroes in that series alone to mention in this post), Jack Reacher, John Wick, La Femme Nikita, The Dirty Dozen, Taken, the list could go on and on couldn’t it? But you only asked for five so there’s my list.

There is one more I could add—King McNally from Flash of Fury, book 1 of my Endgame Ops series. Where would he rank you ask? Well King is the complete package. Take all of my 1-5 picks and combine them into one ultimate spec ops alpha male and you get Kingston McNally, team leader of Endgame Ops. But I’m going to let you read Flash of Fury because I don’t want to ruin just how awesome King really is. The only thing that makes him even better is Allie Redding.

But that’s their story to tell.

Thanks for letting me share with you. I’d love to know who your top five Favorite Sexy Action Movie heroes are. I dare you to leave them in the comments!

Holler at y’all later!

Lea

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Giveaway

PAPERBACK COPY

ENTER ON FACEBOOK HERE

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About the Author

Lea Griffith has been reading romance novels since a young age. She cut her teeth on the greats: McNaught, Woodiwiss, and Garwood. She still consumes every romance book she can put her hands on, and now she writes her own compelling romantic suspense. Lea lives with her husband and three teenage daughters in rural Georgia.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: HOLDING ON TIGHTER: Wicked Lovers Series by Shayla Black

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HOLDING ON TIGHTER: Wicked Lovers Series by Shayla Black

Publication Date: February 7, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Erotica

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img_6527In this seductive new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Falling in Deeper, mixing business with pleasure can be a dangerous proposition…

Jolie Quinn is a woman in charge. Her no-nonsense attitude has made her a rising star in the fashion world and her brand a household name among the Dallas elite. Nothing will stop her from achieving her goals—not even the gorgeous British security contractor who seems just as interested in seeing her personal assets as he is in protecting her professional ones.

After a tragedy left him broken, Heath Powell made a rule of staying unattached. But Jolie challenges him in a way he can’t ignore, and he isn’t used to backing down from a confrontation—especially when the reward for winning could feel so good. As passion blazes between them, the stubborn, confident beauty arouses more than his desire. She touches his heart.

When a mysterious enemy threatens Jolie and her company, Heath is the only person Jolie can trust to help. But working with him to save her business might put her dangerously at risk of falling in love…

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I really enjoyed this hot new release in Shayla Black’s Wicked Lovers Series. HOLDING ON TIGHTER is the twelfth book in the series and while some of the characters show up throughout the series, each book is a standalone that features different main characters. I always prefer to read a series in order, but you can read these books in any order and be fine. HOLDING ON TIGHTER is a scorching hot romance with some suspense. It took me a while to warm up to the heroine and Heath did a few things that annoyed me, but I understood why by the end of the book. Who doesn’t love a sexy Brit? Yum! I recommend this book for romantic suspense/ erotica lovers. When I’m in the mood for erotica romance that has a suspenseful storyline I reach for one of Shayla Black’s books. Her books always satisfy my addiction.

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

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Heath jerked back to face her and leaned in so close their noses nearly touched. “Am I wrong?”
She refused to stroll down that memory lane. “Does it matter?”
“I daresay it does. But we’ll come back to that. If you were merely mistrustful of men, you would have waited until tomorrow and delivered a well-placed warning to keep me away from your sister.
Instead, you came after me. And when you found me with another woman, your temper flared. If I merely lived up to your expectations of being a womanizing prick, that shouldn’t make you angry at all, simply smug at being right. But you were livid. I doubt all that displeasure is on your sister’s behalf. In fact, I suspect, Ms. Quinn, that you have more than a passing interest in me. You were jealous.”
Apprehension raced through her veins. He was uncomfortably close to the truth. “You’re egotistical.”
“But I’m right.” He gave her a tight smile. “For the record, if I intended to disregard policy and pursue a woman in the office, I wouldn’t bother with your sister. As you say, she’s naive and provides no challenge. But you . . . You would be far more interesting. Pretty, strong, smart, not easily bendable. Color me intrigued.”
She tensed. “I’m your boss.”
“Temporarily. We’re both adults. Surely neither of us are prone to torrid emotional attachments. We could keep business separate from personal, couldn’t we?”
Normally, she’d say yes. But working with him constantly buzzing around her, asking questions, and watching her every move had already dented her focus. “I have no intention of becoming your next conquest.”
“I never planned to pursue you.”
Jolie wondered why, then dismissed the question as she buttoned her red coat. “Perfect. There’s nothing left to say except I’m sorry for intruding on your evening. I hope we can forget this by morning.”
She had to get out of here. She’d overplayed her hand and needed to regroup, to think about how to treat him tomorrow. The last thing she wanted was for Heath Powell to decide she was a challenge he should convert into his next bed partner after all. Normally, the sexual urges of a man wouldn’t concern her unless she was interested. If so, she found a way to have him for a night or two, then ended it.
Something told her that nothing with Heath would ever be that simple.
But when Jolie turned her back on him and headed for the parking lot, he snaked an arm around her middle and pulled her against his big, steely body. “I never planned to pursue you . . . but I’ve changed my mind.”

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Kindle | Amazon PBK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy of HOLDING ON TIGHTER by Shayla Black

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

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image

imageShayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels. For over fifteen years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold well over a million copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past seven years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and a very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Spotlight, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway: BLAZING HOT COWBOY by Kim Redford

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BLAZING HOT COWBOY (Smokin’’ Hot Cowboys Book 2) by Kim Redford

Publication Date: January 3, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Western Romance

Synopsis

img_6184He’s all the heat she’ll ever need.

Lauren Sheridan’s return to Wildcat Bluff after the death of her husband is bittersweet. Thirteen years have passed since she set foot in the place that’s always held her heart…and the sizzling memories of her high school sweetheart.

Kent Duval has it all. A proud rancher and volunteer firefighter in the small town of Wildcat Bluff, he’s missing only one thing from his life: passion. Kent last saw Lauren Sheridan when she was sweet sixteen and they were head-over-heels in love. Now she’s back, spunky daughter in tow, and he no longer knows which way is up. As the heat between them builds, Kent can’t help but wonder if past flames can be rekindled and second chances really do exist.

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Excerpt

img_6185In Wildcat Bluff County, Texas . . .
Kent Duval joined other firefighters in front of a burning barn. He wasn’t wearing much firefighter gear, so he’d pump water and roll hose from the booster while another volunteer used the nozzle to wet a perimeter around the structure.
Streams of water hit the building and steam rose along with smoke as Kent and the other first responders fought to bring the blaze under control. Even so, the fire quickly expanded in size as it ate up oxygen. Soon the wooden barn was fully engaged and pumping smoke. Flames surged higher into the sky. They kept up the water barrage, beating back the blaze despite the orange-and-yellow flames spitting and licking and clawing to take back what was lost. Every fire had its own personality. This one reminded Kent of a dangerous wild bull.
And just when he thought they had the blaze contained, a piece of shake-shingle roof was ripped off by the wind and whipped across firefighter heads to land in the adjacent pasture. Flames immediately set the dry grass ablaze, and a line of fire headed straight for the nearby house at Twin Oaks.
“Watch my pump!” When Kent got a nod of understanding from another firefighter, he took off running, hoping he could stomp out the fire with his cowboy boots before it took hold and swept away from them.
He got ahead of the blaze, but the flames were quickly consuming the grass. He stomped hard, making a little headway, but he quickly realized he wasn’t able to do enough fast enough. And the other firefighters couldn’t leave the barn. He’d have to call for backup, but he feared the engine couldn’t get there in time.
Just as he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, he heard Lauren calling to him. He glanced up. She’d crossed the road, dragging a heavy fire extinguisher in each hand, up to the barbwire fence. He could’ve cheered because she might just have saved the day.
He pocketed his cell, ran over to her, grabbed the canisters, and set them down on his side of the fence.
“Hold up the barbwire and I’ll crawl under,” she said as she went down on her knees.
“Lauren, I don’t want you in danger.”
“I’m not letting that fire get anywhere near my daughter at Twin Oaks.” She lay down and started to crawl on her stomach under the fence.
He quickly raised the bottom strand of wire so she wouldn’t tear her clothes or scratch her back.
Once she was on the other side, she grabbed a can and dragged it toward the leading edge of the blaze.
He used the black strap to hang the other fire extinguisher over his shoulder and caught up. He tried to take the canister from her, but she gave him a no nonsense look.
“Two of us are faster than one,” she said. “I remember how to use these cans, so let’s get to it.”
He grinned, loving her sassiness even as he wanted to keep her safe. He knew better. This was his Lauren, and she didn’t back down for nothing or nobody. “Let’s do it.”
Together, they got out in front of the fire and started spraying the potent chemical on the blaze, leaving a trail of yellow. They continued to relentlessly douse the flames till nothing was left except charred grass. When their fire extinguishers were empty, they tossed them aside, and then stomped on the crisp grass to make sure there were no hot embers left that might reignite.
Finally, Kent picked up one empty canister and hung it from his shoulder by the strap before he put the other strap over his free shoulder. He couldn’t resist leaning down and giving Lauren a quick kiss.
“Don’t you know I’m too hot to handle?” she teased, chuckling with a sound caught somewhere between delight and relief.
“Guess I’m looking to get burned.”
“I think we’re both a little on the scorched side.” She pointed toward the barn. “But that building took the brunt of it.”
He looked in that direction. He felt a vast sense of comfort when he saw the old barn was nothing more than a pile of black rubble with a red-orange glow of banked embers here and there. He glanced back at the blackened patch of pasture. He’d been cocky tonight—maybe because being with Lauren had made him feel like Superman. He knew better. You could never count on a fire doing what it was supposed to do, and particularly not when it was a raging bull of a blaze.
He clasped Lauren’s hand and threaded their fingers together. “Guess you’re a Wildcat Bluff volunteer firefighter all over again.”
She squeezed his hand. “I feel like I’ve never been gone.”
“Let’s get you home.”
“Twin Oaks will look mighty good.”
But Kent hadn’t been thinking about that place. He’d been thinking about his own farmhouse on Cougar Ranch.

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Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jAWY6Q
B&N: http://bit.ly/2gyApPl
iBooks: http://apple.co/2ghhvdf

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Author Guest Post

Kim Redford: I’m excited to share one of my favorite firefighter characters!

Fire: Trapped on the 37th Floor (1991) recreates as a TV movie the true event that occurred during May 1988 in Los Angeles. In the film, over three hundred LAFD firefighters are deployed to fight the largest structure fire in the city’s history and rescue two people trapped on the 37th floor. Deputy Chief Sterling (Lee Majors) takes command of the situation while Susan Lowell (Lisa Hartman) and Paul DeWitt (Peter Scolari) struggle to stay alive long enough for rescue. Chief Sterling represents the depth of dedication and support that first responders bring to extinguishing fires and caring for sick or injured in emergency medical situations.

He’s one hero who inspired my Smokin’ Hot Cowboys series of contemporary cowboy firefighter novels.

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Giveaway

Enter to win one of ten copies of Blazing Hot Cowboy by Kim Redford.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the author

Kim Redford is an acclaimed author of Western romance novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at kimredford.com.

WebsiteGoodreads

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Spotlight, Guest Post, Quiz & Giveaway: BREATH OF FIRE by Amanda Bouchet

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BREATH OF FIRE (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 2) by Amanda Bouchet 

Publication Date: January 3, 2017

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Author Guest Post

A Note to Readers of The Kingmaker Chronicles

Breath of Fire comes out on January 3rd and I couldn’t be more excited about it! I hope that readers who met Cat and Griffin and followed their exploits in A Promise of Fire will be looking forward to this second installment in The Kingmaker Chronicles, and I hope that new readers will be interested in giving this fantasy romance trilogy a try. The story picks up right where A Promise of Fire left off and with a shocking moment of truth: Cat’s secrets are finally revealed to all. But with the cat out of the bag (pun definitely intended!), important plans can now form to move Thalyria toward unification under Cat and Griffin’s joint rule—plans that will certainly keep Beta Team on their toes. But while Cat’s violent past and lingering self-doubt still haunt her on a deep level, Griffin won’t let her back down from the fate she’d love to avoid. As Griffin propels her toward her inevitable destiny and Cat tries to come to terms with the prophecy that’s haunted her for eight years, readers can expect plenty of adventure and danger, more of Cat’s smart-mouthed humor, exciting Beta Team moments, and a romance that heats up to positively scorching levels. Friendships solidify into unshakable bonds, and perilous quests lead the members of Beta Team into uncharted territory where monsters, magic, and mayhem abound. With Breath of Fire, I hope that readers get swept away and caught up in the emotion and adventure as Cat and Griffin try to navigate their developing and intensely passionate relationship while also taking on the daunting and dangerous task of conquering the world. But most of all, I hope you simply enjoy the book!

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Synopsis

img_6080SHE’S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD…
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a warrior queen to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world—for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin risk sacrificing everything they’ve fought for. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or die trying.

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Excerpt

Waking up from a deep, healing sleep reminds me of rushing toward the surface of a lake, brightness beckoning from above and bubbles fizzing all around me.
Consciousness threads through me in a delicate weave. It’s afternoon. The air smells of bright sun, hot stone, and endless days of summer drought. Insects chirp, their droning song a parched melody, the heat so thick I could cut it with a knife. I don’t question the time of day, just which day, and I’m guessing it’s not the same day I fell asleep. And almost died. Again.
Under the sheet, I brush my fingers over the tender skin on my stomach, finding the raised bump of a fresh scar there. Just one more mark to join the others, inside and out.
I look toward Griffin’s side of the bed, not surprised to find it empty and the sheets cold. He has things to do, a realm to run.
I sigh, which is absurd. I never sighed until I met Griffin.
The indent of his head still creases the pillow, and I slide my hand into the hollow, thinking about how far we’ve come since he abducted me for my Kingmaker Magic and I fought him at every turn.
But Griffin got more than he bargained for with me, and I still can’t bring myself to tell him the worst.
Harbinger of the end. Destroyer of realms.
I squeeze my eyes shut, craving the blissful avoidance of heavy sleep again. But I’m not tired anymore, and half-truths and glaring omissions fester in my belly, cold blocks of dread sitting right there under the heat of my new scar. Who I am. The dreadful prophecy. I wasn’t even truthful about Daphne’s lurking and threats, and hiding things from Griffin is exactly what landed me in this bed, injured and aching. Griffin’s former lover knew what she was doing when she hid in the shadows and threw a knife into my gut. What she didn’t know was that I would pull it out and throw it back.
The door opens, and I turn my head, my heart thudding at the sight of Griffin. Tall, broad, muscular but sleek, he stalks into the room like a predator, his gait balanced and sure, his glittering, gray eyes focused entirely on me. Inky hair, a hawkish nose, that stubborn jaw, and thick, black stubble make him look hard and intimidating. With his sword strapped on and his dark brows lowered, he’s a warlord on the prowl.
I shiver. I couldn’t want him more.
A lightning storm sizzles to life in my magic-charged veins. I look at Griffin, feel him near, and I can ignore all the terrifying things that make me want to crawl inside of myself and disappear. He stops next to the bed, and my blood simmers with heat and need. I wonder what he’ll do to me. What I’ll do to him.
I reach for him, but Griffin crosses his arms and stares down at me from above.
My hand hangs awkwardly in the air, and my heart hovers along with it. An awful tightness clamps around my throat, turning my voice to gravel. “I can still feel you inside me.”
His stony expression doesn’t change, but his iron gaze dips to my bare breasts. When his eyes flick back up, they’re like frosted granite. “Have you enjoyed making a fool out of me?”
The bottom of my stomach drops out with sickening force. I pull the sheet up to cover myself, clutching it hard to keep my hands from trembling. It doesn’t work. Adrenaline roars through me, making me shake.
“What do you mean?” My eyes are wide, my words reedy. Guilty. It’s a good thing I’m not a gambler if this is my game face. But I’ve never had so much to lose.
Griffin reaches out and rips the sheet from my hands and right off the bed. He holds on to it. “I think you know. Or are there too many lies to choose from?”
I sit up, shame and anxiety splashing red-hot color all over my naked skin. At the realm dinner, Griffin vowed to uncover my secrets. I didn’t think he’d do it this fast.

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Buy Links

Kindle http://amzn.to/2iPR2nl | Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/2iPGX9W

Additional Store Links

Amazon Series Link http://amzn.to/2iPHiJK

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Giveaway

Win one of ten copies of A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet, the first book in her The Kingmaker Chronicles series, plus a signed bookplate!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

img_6082Award-winning author Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels, first at Bowdoin College and then at Bowling Green State University. She moved to Paris, France in 2001 and has been there ever since. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children, who will soon be correcting her French.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

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Spotlight, Quiz, Excerpt & Giveaway: My Highland Rebel by Amanda Forester

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My Highland Rebel (Highland Trouble Book 2) by Amanda Forester

Publication Date: January 3, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

img_6066A conquering hero

Cormac Maclean would rather read than rampage, but his fearsome warlord father demands that he prove himself in war. Cormac chooses what he thinks is an easy target, only to encounter a fiery Highland lass leading a doomed rebellion and swearing revenge on him.

Meets an unconquerable heroine

Jyne Cambell is not about to give up her castle without a fight, even though her forces are far outnumbered. She’s proud, hot-blooded and hot-tempered, and Cormac falls for her hard.

It’s going to take all of Cormac’s ingenuity to get Jyne to surrender gracefully—both to his sword and to his heart…

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Amanda Forester Books http://amzn.to/2iQ1ivP

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Excerpt

Highlands, 1362
She had always wanted to have an adventure. That was her first mistake. Her second was to set off for a little privacy in the thick fog of the Highland morning.
Lady Jyne Campbell tramped along the cold ground of the Highland moor, trying to retrace her steps back to camp. She could not have gotten far. Could she? She considered calling out to her brothers for help, but rejected the idea. She wished to show her clan that she was capable of taking care of herself. Admitting she had gotten lost in the fog was not going to help her cause.
Being the youngest daughter, Jyne was accustomed to being bossed about by all of her fourteen siblings. And not just any siblings—Campbell siblings. Her eldest brother was David Campbell, laird of the powerful Campbell clan. The Campbell brothers were tall, broad-shouldered, hardworking, and a formidable foe to their enemies. The Campbell sisters were statuesque, brave, bold, and ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with any man to defend the Campbell clan, or against any clansman who got out of line. Jyne’s mother had borne fifteen children, and not one of them had the audacity to die in childhood. No, frailty was not allowed in the Campbell household.
All except Jyne. She had been born a little too soon and had always been small. In childhood, she was prone to illness and had a delicate constitution. Being of questionable health during her formative years, she was never chosen to travel or have any adventures. Though her dreams were as big as any of her siblings, she had to content herself with listening to the stories of others and making herself useful about the castle, while the other siblings returned with wild tales of their exploits.
Jyne paused a moment, straining to hear sounds from the camp. She would rather search for hours than admit to her overprotective brothers she had gotten lost in a bit of mist. She continued walking in the thick gray fog, which blanketed the rugged landscape. Straining to see ahead of her in the fog and stepped onto something she thought was firm ground, but suddenly wasn’t.
“Oh!” She fell forward into a bog, gasping as the cold, muddy water engulfed her to her thighs. “Oh, no!” She struggled, trying to find firm ground to drag herself out of the treacherous moor, but everywhere she touched was made of cold, wet mud. Her efforts were rewarded only by her sinking into the bog a few inches more.
The freezing sludge seeped through her clothes and held her fast, like an icy claw. The smell of rotting swamp gas made her gag. Her heart pounded in her throat, along with the remnants of her last meal. She had heard stories of people getting trapped in the bog and never returning.
She clenched her teeth to stop them from chattering. Should she call for help? The thought of the looks on her brothers’ faces to find her stuck in the bog shut her mouth. She made another try for solid ground, straining her reach for a crop of grass.
She could almost make it. Her fingertips brushed tantalizingly against the stems of the grass, but there was nothing to grasp. She could not reach solid ground. Her efforts had only caused her to sink another few inches as fear slithered down her spine. Nothing she could do was going to get herself out.
“Help! David? Help!” Her pride was gone. She only hoped her brothers would hear her before she was gone. “Can anyone hear me?”
She had expected her siblings to come running as soon as she called. She could not be that far from camp. Could she? She listened for footsteps, for any hint that help was on the way. She heard nothing.
Panic surged within her, tinged with frustration. The one time she actually wanted her brothers to hover over her, and they were nowhere in sight. She made another lunge for solid ground, but the more she moved, the farther the bog sucked her down, and soon she was up to her waist, panting with exertion and sheer terror.
She closed her eyes and screamed with all her might, “Help! Heeeeeelp!”
“Here, lassie, take my hand.” A man, a stranger to her, flung himself onto the solid ground and reached out his hand over the murky bog. She grasped it, and he began to back up slowly, pulling her from the quagmire. He pulled hard, but the swamp resisted, as if unwilling to release its prize from its cold clutches. Finally, he wrenched her from the deadly swamp, and she collapsed beside him on firm ground.
“Thank ye,” she gasped, not sure if she was trembling from the fear of coming near death or the frozen chill of the mire still permeating her bones.
“Are ye hurt?” asked the stranger. He was a tall man dressed in the plaid kilt of the Highlander, belted at the waist and thrown over one shoulder. He had a wild mop of unruly brown hair and glinting dark eyes. He was armed with a bow and quiver of arrows and had several scrolls stuck into his wide leather belt.
Her teeth chattered. “N-nay, just relieved to be out o’ the bog.”
The stranger stood up and took her with him, easily lifting her to her feet. “Ah, lass, ye’re chilled to the bone.” He pulled her close and wrapped the ends of his plaid around her, warming her with his own heat. She melted into the comforting warmth and safety of his arms.
Jyne sighed. She had a vague feeling she should not be enjoying an embrace with a total stranger. She must be simply thankful to be out of the bog. At least that is what she told herself to justify resting her cheek against his chest.
“Thank ye. I dinna ken what would have happened to me if ye hadna come along,” said Jyne into the man’s solid chest. “Ye must have been sent by the angels to save me.”
The man laughed. “Angels? That would be the first time anyone said that about me.”
Jyne looked up at him. He had a decided jawline and sharp cheekbones. His face was almost angular, but attractive. His dark green eyes gleamed in the early morning light. He was a trim, muscular man who looked to be in his early twenties. Perhaps it was her brush with danger, but she decided he was the most handsome Highlander she had ever seen.
“Then I am glad to be the first to say it to ye. Ye truly are my hero.” Jyne’s voice trembled with sincerity.
“I’m nobody’s hero.” He tilted his head with a sardonic smile.
“Ye are to me. I am Jyne and much in yer debt.”
He shook his head. “Ye owe me naught.”
She touched her hand to his cheek, and he tilted his head toward her, leaning closer.
“Unhand my sister!”
Jyne jumped away from the stranger and turned to see her brother, Laird of the Campbells, emerging from the mist.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon PBK

Additional Store Links

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Giveaway

Win one of ten copies of My Highland Rebel by Amanda Forester

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance was way more fun. A Publishers Weekly Top Ten author, her books have been given starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest outside Tacoma, Washington.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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