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

Amazon Series Link

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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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Spotlight: HIGHLAND GLADIATOR (Scots and Swords) by Kathryn Le Veque

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HIGHLAND GLADIATOR (Scots and Swords Book 1) by Kathryn Le Veque

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

G20C98B51-7AD6-4B45-A3DC-FBF9FE82F210ladiator meets Fight Club in the Scottish Highlands in a new romance from USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Le Veque

“The epic Medieval Romance is back—thanks to Kathryn Le Veque!” —Claire Delacroix, New York Times Bestselling author

When Lor Careston’s quiet Highland village was attacked and burned, he felt helpless against the raiders who destroyed his home. Seeking revenge, but lacking the fighting skills needed to execute his mission, he sets out to find the Ludus Caledonia—a mysterious fight guild that turns men into warriors.

Lor trains hard, proves himself in the ring, and earns a place within the very clan that decimated his home. He knows he can set his plan for revenge in motion from the inside. But his plan didn’tinclude Isabail Keith, a beautiful warrior lass who prefers broadswords to embroidery. Lorthought the Keiths were his enemies, but when Isabail is threatened, he’ll have to decide what he’s willing to risk for the woman who has captured his heart and the clan that has become his home.

Truth. Justice. Revenge. Behind these stands the Scotsman’s sword.

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Excerpt

The village of Brechin, Scottish Highlands

Year of Our Lord 1484

He’d seen her before.

Lor knew that the moment he looked up from the business he was conducting with his grandfather’s friend. In the midst of a busy marketplace on a glorious spring day, he caught sight of a woman he recognized, which wasn’t unusual in itself, but with this woman, it was.

Lor and the old man with the missing eye had been going over the purchase Lor was making of slag material for his grandfather’s blacksmith stall when he glanced up and saw her. In truth, he saw her only from the back; it was the hair that had his attention. In the sunlight, the red curls glistened like molten fire.

Everything about her caught his eye. She was dressed in a long tunic and braies from what he could see, unusual for a lass, but she’d marched down the road with her basket of skins in her arms in a cadence that seemed much more like a man’s than a woman’s.

Purposeful.

Confident.

He’d seen that walk once before.

Lor?”

The old man next to him was trying to get his attention, but Lor couldn’t take his eyes from the woman as she walked down the dusty avenue. She was weaving in and out among the villagers on this busy market day, and Lor didn’t want to lose sight of her.

He put up a hand to the old man.

“Wait a moment,” he said. “I’ll return.”

He didn’t wait for a reply. Quickly, he headed out into the street while the old blacksmith watched him with some frustration.

“Where are ye going, lad?” he called after him. “If ye dunna come back, I’ll rob ye blind. I’ll tell yer grandfather that it’s yer fault he was cheated out of a good price for his iron!”

The old man meant it as a jest, hoping Lor would return, but the young blacksmith simply waved him off as if he didn’t believe him, which he didn’t. His grandfather, Nikolaus, and old Albe had been doing business since before Lor was born. He didn’t much believe anything the old liars said.

At the moment, he was on the hunt.

The red curls were up ahead, and he followed them like a cat tracking a mouse. There was something about the woman that he remembered from long ago, and as he politely stepped aside to let a woman and her children pass by, it began to occur to him just where he’d seen that hair.

Gleann Deamhain.

The Vale of Demons.

It was difficult to say why an incident from eight years ago suddenly stood out for him. It had been a fleeting moment as far as moments in time went. But it had stayed with him: the young lass who had practically saved him from a band of bloodthirsty cutthroats. Never mind that they were only children; Lor remembered being as afraid of them as if they’d been the mightiest army of men.

Gòrach, they’d called him.

He’d been stupid once, but he wasn’t going to be stupid again.

This time, he was going to be careful.

Lor continued to follow the lass. She finally came to a stop at a merchant who dealt in hides. As he hid back in the crowd, watching, Lor could see the lass holding up the fine pelts she’d brought, negotiating a price with an old man who seemed to be smiling at her too much. At one point, he reached out and pinched her cheek.

She slapped him.

Lor laughed softly.

Excerpted from Highland Gladiator by Kathryn Le Veque. © 2020 by Kathryn Le Veque. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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About the Author

With over one hundred published novels, Kathryn Le Veque is a critically acclaimed USA Today bestselling author, a charter Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance and Contemporary Romance. She lives in California.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: HEAD OVER PAWS by Debbie Burns

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HEAD OVER PAWS (Rescue Me Series, Book 5) by Debbie Burns

Publication Date: April 28, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

A8D233E3-FB71-4E0F-8A4B-078E02905AE5Who rescued who? Love can lead to your forever home in this charming contemporary romance from best-selling author Debbie Burns.

Olivia Graham isn’t in a place to have a dog of her own, but her new position as a volunteer rescue driver for the local animal shelter will keep her close to her four-legged friends. When she’s called to transport pets that have been misplaced by flooding, she doesn’t hesitate to help, but then her aging car breaks down…

Veterinarian Gabe Wentworth, former EMT and firefighter, is also heading to the rescue site and reluctantly agrees to pick up Olivia on the way. After a bad breakup, Gabe’s embraced the hermit life. When he meets Olivia, he can’t deny their irresistible mutual attraction, and his first thought is to run the other direction. But then the two band together in a risky maneuver to save a beautiful abandoned dog from rising floodwaters. The more Gabe learns about the woman who would risk everything to save vulnerable animals, the more he realizes what he might be willing to risk…

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Donna 5 Stars

I enjoyed this contemporary romance. Was it the relationship? The dogs? I think all of it. Olivia and Gabe were easy to relate to and very likable, it had me rooting for them from the beginning. I also think the author dealt with their instant attraction nicely. Yes, it was strong, but they also got to know each other so it was more than just physical. I can’t say enough about how I loved the brief glimpses into the dog’s perspective. That grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. It is an entertaining and touching book.

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

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Excerpt

Olive and Gabe spotted the house at the same time.
“If we’re too late…” She swallowed back the rest. They weren’t too late. They were right on time. It couldn’t be any other way.
Gabe’s tires skidded to a halt on the wet gravel driveway. The teens who’d spotted the dog were nowhere in sight. Olivia grabbed the bolt cutters and hopped out into the rain. The soft gurgle of rushing water made the hair on the back of her neck and arms stand on end. Gabe jogged around to the back of the truck, and in the space of a minute, he had a tightly wound rope slung over his shoulder, a set of gloves shoved into his back pocket, and an ax and a jumbled mass of nylon in one hand.
As they headed along the side of the house, his free hand locked around her elbow. “Look, I don’t want to come off sounding like a macho prick, but there’s no trusting floodwater, not the current, not what it carries. So, if I don’t like the look of things, I’m going to ask you to hang back. I’d appreciate it if you’d trust me. I don’t want to have to choose between saving a dog and saving you.”
Electricity raced up her arm at the gentle strength in his grip, and his words struck a chord. She was a good swimmer, but she’d never swum in a current before. “Okay. You say it like you have experience in floodwater.”
“Technically, I do. Ten hours of water rescue training and one real-time rescue.”
Olivia started to ask him what he meant, but they’d rounded the corner of the house, and her heart lurched into her throat. A hundred or so feet out in the rushing, choppy water there was a dog pen attached to a small, rotted shed. From the creaks and groans emanating from it, the shed was on the verge of collapsing from the massive pressure of the water rushing into and past it.
Inside the pen, a large liver-brown and spotted-white hound balanced precariously atop a nearly submerged doghouse that must have been swept by the pressure of the water into the far corner. He was standing on all fours, his gangly legs balancing on the half-hexagon roof, his tail tucked tightly between his legs, and his head bowed low. The dog let out a giant bay that stabbed straight into Olivia’s heart.
“Water moving this fast has undercurrents, and you never know when you’re going to step into a strong one.” Gabe’s free hand locked around Olivia’s arm another a second or two. “Would you stay back and hold the rope for me? We could use that tree as a pivot joint.”
Olivia frowned. If she went in and the water knocked her off her feet, four years of high-school swim team might enable her to reach the pen, but there’d be no carrying out a dog that size through the water. She was willing to bet he was seventy or eighty pounds. Pushing through rushing water while holding a gangly, heavy dog would be a challenge even for Gabe, and he probably had half a foot of height and fifty pounds on her.
It was Olivia’s turn to squeeze Gabe’s arm, and even in the stress of the moment, some instinctive part of her responded to the solid feel of his biceps. “Just promise not to get into anything you can’t handle.”
“I’ll do my best.” He pulled out the gloves tucked into his back pocket and offered them to her along with the rope. “You’ll need gloves to hold the rope if I end up fighting with that water.”
The dog let out a series of long bays. To Olivia’s horror, she realized the water was close to tipping the doghouse over right underneath him. It was knocking back and forth against the metal fence of the pen from the pressure of the water. Dogs can swim, Olivia told herself over and over. They’re great swimmers. Even if it tips, he’ll be fine till Gabe reaches him.
Olivia tugged on the several-sizes-too-big gloves as Gabe threaded one end of the long rope through the belt loops of his jeans. His cotton shirt was lifted in the process, exposing an inch or two of remarkably defined obliques and a pronounced vee disappearing into his jeans and sending a wash of saliva over the back of Olivia’s mouth.
When finished, he hooked the backpack-looking strap over his shoulders. Just before he tugged a red-handled pull poking out from its left tip, Olivia realized it was a self-inflating life jacket, just a much slimmer one than the bulky Styrofoam-filled floaty she’d worn strapped around her on float trips as a kid.
Before she realized she was doing it, she leaned forward and pressed a kiss onto his cheek. “Be safe.” Certain her face betrayed the easygoing demeanor she hoped to portray, she flushed tomato-red. She could feel the heat of it lighting her skin.
His hazel-green eyes locked on hers for a single second, then he turned and took off down the yard, leaving Olivia to unwind the rope and pivot it around a relatively young but sturdy-looking tree not far out of the water.
“Water’s damn cold for late March,” Gabe said when he was a few feet in. The brown water parted around his legs, rippling in a heart-shaped wave and forming soft bubbles against his jeans.
A large, floating branch struck the shed with a solid whack, bounced against it for a few seconds, then was swept away by the water.
She wanted to keep watching, but Gabe was pushing through the water fast enough that she needed to focus on unwinding the rope and providing him with the right amount of slack. A quick glance showed he was fifteen or twenty feet in, and the water was already over his knees. He still had a long way to go before he reached the dog. As a rush of fear pressed over her, all Olivia could think to do was pray harder than she’d prayed in a long time.

Excerpted from Head Over Paws by Debbie Burns. © 2020 by Debbie Burns. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

2 sets of New Leash on Love, Sit, Stay, Love, My Forever Home, and Love at First Bark

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Debbie Burns lives in St. Louis with her family, two phenomenal rescue dogs, and a somewhat tetchy Maine coon cat who everyone loves anyway. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening, and daydreaming, which, of course, always leads to new story ideas.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: COWBOY FIREFIGHTER HEAT by Kim Redford

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COWBOY FIREFIGHTER HEAT (Smokin’ Hot Cowboys Book 6) by Kim Redford

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

35AE72BB-86E1-4D65-8552-91A3BAD81A9CShe’s back and hotter than ever. Good thing this firefighting cowboy can handle the sparks.

When country singer Fern Bryant returns to her cabin in Wildcat Hall Park, the last thing she expects to find is Craig Thorne in her home…asleep in her bed. Fern had big dreams, and chasing those dreams required sacrifices. Unfortunately, Craig was the cowboy singer and firefighter she left behind. Much to her surprise, now they’re the co-owners of her beloved Wildcat Hall Park.

Craig hasn’t seen Fern since she left Wildcat Bluff County—and him—to sing on a cruise ship. When she storms back into town, the sparks between the two aren’t only rekindled but burn hotter than ever. As long days turn into long nights, Craig is determined to show Fern that she belongs in Wildcat Bluff…and his arms.

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Excerpt

Fern Bryant yawned as she lay down, slipped under the covers, and breathed a sigh of relief. Home…finally. And then she realized the mattress didn’t feel the same. No lumps. Had Ivy—her sister— replaced it? That’d be wonderful. She snuggled a little deeper. And she realized something else. Heat. The bed was way too warm. In fact, if she wasn’t mistaken, and surely she was, there was a…
“About time you came home,” a man said in a deep, melodic tone from the far side of the bed.
She screamed in shock, even as she recognized the unforgettable voice she’d tried so hard to forget. She leaped out of bed and switched on the nightstand lamp. “Craig Thorne! What are you doing in my bed?”
“I could ask the same of you.” He sat up, the covers slowly, suggestively sliding down to his lap to reveal the chiseled planes of his bronzed, muscular chest. A slight smile tugged at the corners of his full lips, and his hazel eyes gleamed more jade than amber.
Now she understood why she’d found firefighter gear and a dirty mug. He was a cowboy firefighter…and he drank coffee. But what was he doing here? She sucked in her breath, ready to put him in his place, but instead she inhaled the scent of citrus and sage as it swirled outward from the heat of his body. That sight and scent sent her spiraling back in time to a hot and hungry place.
She traced him with her gaze but wished she could use her hands. She’d run her fingers through his thick chestnut hair, with just a touch of wave, that brushed his ridiculously broad shoulders. When she started to follow the dark line of hair down his bronze chest, she snapped her gaze back to his face. And those knowing eyes had turned dark as they roamed her in return.
“How are you?” Craig said in a raspy voice.
“Fine. And you?”
“Better now.”
She couldn’t help but smile. He always knew exactly what to say, whether it was on stage or off.
“Are you here to stay?” he asked.
“I finished the gigs.”
“Good ones?” He cocked his head to one side as if contemplating how it’d been for her.
“What’s not to like about cruise ships?”
“Bet we’ve got better gigs at Wildcat Hall,” he said.
“Yeah.” She needed to get control of the situation, but she was so distracted by the hot cowboy in her bed that she wasn’t thinking straight. Still, it was Craig, and she couldn’t go there again. He would try to corral her, like he’d attempted to do before she’d left for her dream job when he’d wanted her to stay. He’d offered marriage and babies, but there was plenty of time for a family later. She’d always wanted a gig on the high seas, and it’d been a once in a lifetime job. He hadn’t understood. He’d made it an ultimatum—him or work. She wouldn’t be fenced in, not when her sister could step in and run the Park for her. Besides, she’d always been a rolling stone.
“When are you leaving again?”
“I’m not.”
He shook his head, scolding her with his gaze.
“I’m back. And I’m taking control of Wildcat Hall.”
“Control, huh?” He gave her a little smile and cocked his head to one side as he contemplated her.
“Ivy is ready to get on with her life. Me, too.” She didn’t much like his smile. It looked cagey.
“Slade’s a lucky guy to be with her.”
“I’m happy for them.” Fern needed to get their conversation back on track, so she could get him out of her bedroom. “Look, you’re popular at the Hall. Well, more than popular. You’re a huge hit. Naturally, I still want you to play there. It’s just…there is no us anymore.”
“You made that pretty clear when you left.”
She nodded, feeling relieved he was agreeing with her. “I don’t want to be rude, but I’d be more comfortable if you went home. I’m not even sure why you’re here in the first place.”
He leaned toward her, still with that smile on his face.
She froze in place. She had an uneasy feeling life wasn’t going to be quite as simple as she’d imagined when she was on the high seas where everything was controllable—something Craig had never been in his life.
“This is my home now.”
“Ivy rented the cabin to you?”
“Not quite.”
“What do you mean?” She shivered, suddenly chilled to the bone. She clasped her arms around her middle for warmth and comfort.
“I’m willing to share the bed with you. After all, it’s only right.”
She was more confused by the moment. “I appreciate the offer, but—­”
“Fifty-one percent.”
She felt color drain from her face. “Surely, you can’t mean…my sister wouldn’t do that to me.”
“Ivy never had the same interest in the honky­tonk as you. Or me. It’s lifeblood to us. And she has a new life with Slade on his ranch.”
“Are you telling me straight out that Ivy sold you her percentage of the Park?”
“Yes.”
“But she didn’t discuss it with me or anything first.” Fern felt incredibly betrayed by her sister.
“Guess it wasn’t in the contract.”
She shook her head, feeling a ringing in her ears that tried to blot out what she was hearing from him. “I suppose it’s a done deal.”
“Official and everything.” He stopped, looking concerned about her. “It’s okay. We worked fine together in the past. We can do it again.”
“Forty­nine percent.” She tried to wrap her mind around that agonizing fact. “You’re in charge.”
“We’re partners.”

Excerpted from Cowboy Firefighter Heat by Kim Redford. © 2020 by Kim Redford. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of Cowboy Firefighter Christmas Kiss

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

KIM REDFORD is an acclaimed author of Western romance. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos. 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.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: BEARS BEHAVING BADLY by MaryJanice Davidson

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BEARS BEHAVING BADLY (BeWere My Heart Book 1) by MaryJanice Davidson

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

05BD7247-46AD-4B7F-A1FC-C44533D8AD0DThese social worker bear shifters give the term “mama bear” a whole new meaning! Bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson is back with this brand-new paranormal romance series featuring a foster care system for at-risk shifter babies and teens.

Werebear shifter Annette Garsea is a caseworker for the Interspecies Placement Agency. When a selectively mute and freakishly strong teen werewolf is put in her custody, Annette has to uncover the young girl’s secrets if she’s to have any hopes of helping her. And not even the growling of a scruffy private investigator can distract her from her mission…

Bear shifter David Auberon appreciates Annette’s work with at-risk teen shifters, but he’s not sure if her latest charge is so much a vulnerable teen as a predator who should be locked up. All that changes when he, Annette, and her motley band of juveniles find themselves dodging multiple murder attempts and uncovering a trafficking cartel that doesn’t just threaten the kids, but risks discovery of the shifters by the wider world of homo sapiens.

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Excerpt

While David tore the intruders to pieces, Annette jacked shells into her .12 gauge. Twenty-inch barrel, six-round mag, and a place to attach a bayonet, not that she’d ever felt the urge.
She eschewed buckshot; slugs had the advantage of range, greater accuracy, would shred their target at 1,800 feet per second, and could knock a full-grown werewolf off all four paws. Slugs would also, to use the technical term, incapacitate like a bastard.
Annette stepped out of the room, socked the gun to her shoulder, fired at the
(sixty pounds, six-inch bite-wound radius, four feet at the shoulder, sees the gun but tries for my carotid anyway because he is a clear IDIOT)
werewolf, and moved slightly to her left as the werewolf’s momentum carried him another eighteen inches while the slug rearranged his coronary arteries.
To her left came a choked snarl that was chopped short. David had pulverized the werewolf’s vocal cords as he went in for the final strike. While she’d run for the gun case, he had killed the other one before he’d gotten a dozen feet from the car, now parked haphazardly at the far end of the yard.
“Oh, hell,” she said, popping the safety and inhaling. Blood, cordite, fear, blood, triumph, scones. “We live to bite another day, hurrah for us, but we’ve killed all our leads.”
Welp, as Mama Mac would say, better them than us. Then she’d bake a Bundt cake.
I would love a Bundt cake.

“Pat!” she called. “Sound off!”
“I’m good, we’re all good back here!”
“You okay, Annette?” David asked hoarsely. “You hurt?”
She turned to see David, all six-foot-plus of him, bloodied head to heels. He wiped his face with the back of a bloody hand, which was an exercise in futility. His dark hair was sticking up like he’d used gore for mousse, and he was all powerful arms and broad chest and long, blood-spattered muscles and, um, long…long…
Feet.
Do not gape at the man like a slack-jawed yokel, you slack-jawed yokel! Shifter nudity taboos were, by necessity, far more relaxed than anything in the Stable world. But it still wasn’t polite to stare, no matter how fine the Shifter in question was. Quite the opposite; it could be construed as a challenge.
“I’m all right. Are you?” She stepped closer, and there was no way, no way to stop herself from reaching out. “Well, hell. At least one of them got his teeth into you.”
“Worth it.” Now he stepped closer. Don’t read into it. Maybe he’s worried you can’t hear him from two feet away. He’s so considerate! “Are you sure you’re okay?”
She looked down at her sweater. “None of this is my blood, David.”
“That shouldn’t be as hot as it is,” he said, and cupped the nape of her neck and kissed her. Neither the time nor place, her inner Girl Scout primly pointed out, but damn, the man had a nice mouth. Mmmmm…Skittles…
Just as suddenly, he drew back, leaving her gasping. “Sorry.”
“That bad?”
He shook his head. “Christ, no. But I should’ve asked.”
“Is that an apology?”
“No.”
“Well then. This serves you right.” And she kissed him back. She was pressed up against him, more blood smearing on her sweater, and he was right—it shouldn’t be so exciting. But it was. It didn’t matter that she’d never shifted. Some urges were difficult to deny. For example, the urge to slide her hands down from the small of his back to the springy muscles of his ass, because for some reason men often had the most wonderful asses and David was walking around with a top-notch booty. It wasn’t fair.
She broke the kiss. “Dammit.”
“Yeah, our timing sucks. And I’m glad you’re okay, and you were right to go for the shotgun, but…” He trailed off, then added shyly, “I was kinda hoping to get a look at your beast.”
“Next time.” She took advantage of their proximity to take a closer look at his wound, while resisting the urge to stretch up and taste the spot behind his ear. “Not deep, at least. But you’ve definitely got more holes in you than you did this morning.”
“I’m fast, not infallible.”
“Noted.” Fast was an understatement. It hadn’t been two minutes since they’d gotten out of the car. “Let’s go check on the—”
“Okay, okay! I get it. Caro, you were supposed to drag me clear of the fight. Well, fight’s over, so it’s okay for me to leave the room, so you can just…dammit!”
Annette turned in time to see Pat limping into the kitchen while Caro, in wolf-form, gently clamped her teeth around his calf to hinder his momentum.
“Annette, will you tell her to step off, for the love of all that’s annoying?”
She went to one knee and stretched out a hand to Caro’s wolf, a beast the color of midnight with eyes like hurricane lamps. Such unusual coloring for a gray wolf Shifter. “Thank you so much. You did exactly right. You can let him fend for himself now.”
Caro dropped the bite and made a noise that sounded suspiciously like Hmph!
“Pat, are you okay?” She went to her roommate and started feeling him for injuries. “Does this hurt? Does this? How many of me can you see? Does…ow!”
“I’ll slap your hand again if you keep that up. You know I’m hyperticklish. Why is there blood on your face? Were you so hungry you just started biting them as a biped? Because yuck and I’ll have to get to work on an intervention.”
“It’s just back spatter from the shotgun,” she soothed.
“On your face? In the shape of fingers? Like someone grabbed your face? With their fingers? And snogged you silly?”
“Don’t say ‘snogged’ like you’re British, and can we please realign our priorities?”
“You want to talk priorities? Bad enough I’m ruining my favorite apron to shield the eyes of the tender minors in our care—”
“Pat,” she said, exasperated, “literally no one cares about your dick.”
“My Instagram begs to differ.”

 

Excerpted from Bears Behaving Badly by MaryJanice Davidson. © 2020 by MaryJanice Davidson. 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

3 Copies of Bears Behaving Badly

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

An award-winning author, MaryJanice Davidson is the NYT and USA Today best-selling author of the UNDEAD and UNWED paranormal romcom series. Her books have been published in over a dozen languages and have been bestsellers worldwide. A former model and medical test subject (two jobs that are closer than you’d think), she lives with her family in St. Paul, MN.

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Review & Giveaway: THE BILLIONAIRE IN BOOTS by Julia London

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THE BILLIONAIRE IN BOOTS (The Princes of Texas Book 3) by Julia London

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

265D27A7-BE88-4B89-85D0-BCFA63998490As the firstborn son, it’s been drilled into Nick that he is the heir apparent to the Prince family empire. But cattle ranching has never been his true passion. Nick wants to be a pilot. However, when his father dies, leaving Nick to clean up the mess, he knows he must do his duty before following his heart.

Charlotte Bailey can’t believe that Nick is back to run the ranch. As the office manager, she knows it’s her responsibility to help him. If only he wasn’t so brooding and cranky–and so hot it’s a wonder his chaps don’t melt right off him. But when sparks fly between them, she’s adamant about staying away from a cowboy on his way out the door.

Nick knows the ranch’s pretty, smart, and capable office manager is off-limits, but he needs her. And working in such close proximity to Charlotte every day is making Nick crazy. She smells good, she looks good, she makes him laugh, but most of all she makes him want to stay….

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Donna 5 Stars

Oh my, what a fun story. I fell in love with Nick right off. Something about him resonated with me and I wanted to make everything alright for this strong and good man. Charlotte was a hoot! I loved how she behaved during all the sexual tension boiling around them. They made a fun couple to watch. Honest emotions, strong chemistry, witty banter, and a romance with just enough heat to keep me warm. Then there are the people around them; large nutty families, well-meaning friends, and of course the animals. I laugh, I cried and now I’m in a warm-fuzzy book coma.

*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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Giveaway

Paperback Copy of THE BILLIONAIRE IN BOOTS by Julia London

Enter Facebook Giveaway HERE

Winner will be selected Monday (3/16) by 6PM EST. Paperback was provided to Reading in Pajamas by Berkley Romance.

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About the Author

Julia London is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly best-selling author of more than forty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Highland Grooms historical series, including Wild Wicked Scot, Sinful Scottish Laird, Hard-Hearted Highlander, Devil in Tartan, Tempting the Laird and Seduced by a Scot. Her latest historical series, A Royal Wedding is set in Victorian England and the first book The Princess Plan has been welcomed with rave reviews. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including the Pine River Trilogy, her Lake Haven Series and her latest contemporaries, The Princes of Texas books.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. She lives in Austin, 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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Spotlight, Review & Excerpt: WHITEOUT by Adriana Anders

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WHITEOUT (Survival Instincts Book 1) by Adriana Anders

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

DB6A5991-F353-4688-B4C3-699802A192E7With a storm coming and a killer on the loose, every step could be their last…

Angel Smith is finally ready to leave Antarctica for a second chance at life. But on what was meant to be her last day, the remote research station she’s been calling home is attacked. Hunted and scared, she and irritatingly gorgeous glaciologist Ford Cooper barely make it out with their lives…only to realize that in a place this remote, there’s nowhere left to run.

Isolated with no power, no way to contact the outside world, and a madman on their heels, Angel and Ford must fight to survive in the most inhospitable—and beautiful—place on earth. But what starts as a partnership born of necessity quickly turns into an urgent connection that burns bright and hot. They both know there’s little chance of making it out alive, and yet they are determined to weather the coming storm—no matter the cost.

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Donna 4 stars

This is a new author that is going on my must-read list. I like how the author didn’t go into minute detail to explain the environment, yet I felt I was there. That made the story flow and not get bogged down. What a wild ride it was…I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see what would happen next. It had it all: A couple you grew to care about, villains you love to hate, ongoing human caused danger, survival of the elements in the balance, and people around them that blend as a group. Coop/Ford, was seriously introverted, yet the author let us see what was going on inside him enough to feel for the guy. Angel was my favorite heroine. Vulnerable, but when strength and determination are needed, she was right there leading the way. They made a great and believable couple. I am was excited to see the development of this new series – now I have to wait for book 2.

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

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Excerpt

They finished dinner, cleaned up, and went about getting ready for bed.
“Better take care of those feet,” he said.
A low sound of protest emerged from inside the sleeping bag, where Angel had already taken up residence. “Can it wait till the morning?”
“Frostbite’s not something to mess with. Let’s see them.” He didn’t intend to sound quite so bossy.
“I’ll do it.” Her words were slurred.
“You can barely move.” He held on to the kit, obstinate—and something else. Responsible, maybe. “I saw you limping out there. Your knee’s bugging you. Don’t deny it.”
She threw him a glare, but surprised him by complying.
He took hold of one slender foot and stripped it gently but quickly, since even in shelter, the risk of frostbite was real. It was light in his palm and mostly warm enough to alleviate his worry, though her toes were chilly. He touched each one. “Any numbness?”
She shook her head.
With great care, he peeled the bandages off, cleaned her skin, and reapplied fresh ones where needed, slipping the sock back on before starting the whole process with the other foot.
He couldn’t say exactly when it occurred to him that he held her naked foot in his hand, but once the realization popped into his head, it wouldn’t go away. Hung around like an itch he couldn’t get to.
A foot, for God’s sake. Ridiculous.
But the foot didn’t feel ridiculous right now. He gently squeezed it and expelled a harsh breath.
It felt…improper. Especially in comparison with the rest of her fully clothed body. And secret, somehow. He knew things about her now. He knew her second toe was longer than the big one, that her arches were high and elegant, her skin already roughened from two days of marching in the freezing desert air. He knew she’d put on a bright red nail polish at some point. It’d worn mostly off, but it made her toes look like candy. And he’d never craved sugar so badly.
The best course of action, now that she was all bandaged up, was to give her back her foot.
But he couldn’t.
Instead, he ran his thumb along the central curve, pressed forward beneath her toes, then down to her heel. The sounds she made were—he swallowed—obscene. A shocked gasp that urged him to look her way. He didn’t, though, because if their eyes met, he might have to stop.
And that was the last thing he wanted to do.
Another rub, deeper this time, bearing down on aching muscles. But it didn’t sound like pain when she moaned, low and guttural, and though he knew better, he let his eyes slide up her body to her face.
He froze. He’d never seen anything hotter—not on-screen or in the throes of sex or in his darkest fantasy.
Mouth open, eyes closed, cheeks flushed, everything about her screamed pleasure. Just to be sure, he stroked back and pressed again, wanting—no, needing—to know which notes this spot would play on her ever-changing face.
And she didn’t disappoint. Every feature cringed, slowly, sensually, in a magnified expression of pleasure-pain. Sweeping up to caress her toes now was sheer torture, because he was hard—shocking in this cold—and her reactions, though subtle, were more intimately real than any peepshow.
He could’ve gone on forever, rubbing, rapt, eyes glued to her face as she showed him just how good he made her feel, picturing how amazing she’d look if he were kissing her, or—
Her eyes popped open, ensnaring his in their velvet trap.
Everything went quiet, stilling as if the storm had taken a breath. Or maybe it was him going a little deaf, like when his ears needed popping in a plane. Except he could hear the things happening in this tent. Could feel and smell with overwhelming precision every fine detail blown up under a microscope.
They shared a couple hard inhale-exhales, the tension between them as palpable as the frigid temperature.
The press of his fingers lessened, his caresses slowed, until he did nothing but grasp her foot while she just as steadily held his gaze.
“That feels amazing,” she said in a bedroom whisper that he could feel deep in his bones, though it couldn’t possibly be loud enough to hear.
Her mouth closed and his attention flicked down, watching her swallow with something awfully close to hunger before sliding back up to find her eyes boring into him.

Excerpted from Whiteout by Adriana Anders. © 2020 by Andriana Anders. 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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About the Author

Adriana Anders is the award-winning author of the Blank Canvas series. Under Her Skin, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017 and winner of two 2018 Holt Medallions, has been featured in Bustle, USA Today Happy Ever After, and Book Riot. Today, she resides with her tall French husband and two small children in France, where she writes the gritty, emotional love stories of her heart.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: COLD NOSE, WARM HEART by Mara Wells

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COLD NOSE, WARM HEART by Mara Wells

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

EBA4BC02-46C3-4F1A-9336-D2AD9AA4AA6CA poodle, a black lab and a Chihuahua walk into a dog park…

All Caleb Donovan has to do to redeem his family name is take a rundown Miami Beach apartment building and turn it into luxury condos. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, that would also turn the local dog park into a parking lot and the neighbors aren’t having it. Caleb is faced with outright revolt, led by smart, beautiful building manager Riley Carson and her poodle, LouLou.

For Caleb, this project should have been a slam dunk. But even more challenging than the neighborhood resistance is the mutual attraction between him and Riley. It would be so much easier just to stay enemies.

Can Riley and her canine sidekick convince Caleb that what’s best for business isn’t always best for the heart?

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Donna 4 stars

This is a sweet debut novel by Ms. Wells, full of quirky characters, both human and animal. I enjoyed how the author wove this diverse group of people into a community that fit together perfectly. Riley could have easily sunk into bitch-mode under the circumstances, but luckily, she remained likeable and Caleb’s attraction was believable. I also appreciate that Caleb was written with all his emotional layers on display while he worked through his past and present obstacles. I liked them both and happily watched them work through the issues surrounding them. This romance had family drama, frustrations, humor and love. It was a pleasure to read.

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

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Excerpt

“LouLou!” a hoarse voice called. “LouLou!”
“Over here!” Caleb yelled, not sure where the voice was coming from, but hearing the pain in it and wanting to do anything in his power to make that pain stop. What could he say? Rescuing furry damsels in distress brought out his mushy side.
Through the sheets of rain, he spotted Riley limping along the sidewalk across the street from dog park. She didn’t look much better than LouLou had, hair flattened and plastered to her head, clothes sticking to her as though she’d taken a dunk in the ocean. And was she barefoot? All those shoes outside her front door, and she’d run out in the storm without so much as a flip-flop to protect her?
“You’re a pair, aren’t you?” He whispered to LouLou, waving frantically to get Riley’s attention. “Over here! Riley, I’ve got LouLou!”
Riley looked across the road, and he knew the moment she saw them. She collapsed to her knees, hands over her face, and a giant sob racked her body. So they’d be staying out in the rain a little longer. He crossed over and knelt beside her, the soaked poodle between them.
“It’s okay. She’s okay. You’re okay.” He sounded like an idiot. He knew it, but he kept saying stupid things anyway. “I’ve got her. She’s right here.”
Riley sucked in a big breath and looked up at him with her tilted eyes. “Thank you.” She held out her arms for LouLou. He shifted the dog’s weight to Riley’s hold, but LouLou curled her paw around his wrist, tight.
Riley’s chin sank. “I deserve that.”
“No, it happens.” Caleb didn’t know what he was talking about. What happened? Rain? Dogs running loose in the streets? “You didn’t do anything wrong.” He knew that part at least was right.
“I couldn’t find her.” She scrubbed at her face with the heels of her hands, eyes red and lids swollen from crying. “And now she’s hurt. What happened to her paw?”
“She’s fine, just a small piece of glass.” He pried LouLou’s paw off his wrist and handed the dog over, surprised at how giving her back felt like a loss. If he felt this attached after such a brief time with the dog, how bad must Riley have felt when she realized LouLou was missing? The impulse to make Riley feel better kept his assurances flowing. “Eliza patched her up, and she’ll be good as new in no time.”
“Thank you.” She buried her face in LouLou’s fur and stood, but as soon as she did, she lost her balance and keeled over with a squeak.
Caleb reached out to steady her. “What’s wrong?”
Riley closed her eyes and leaned heavily on him. “Think I stepped on something.”
“Let me see.”
Feeling a sense of déjà vu, he crouched to inspect the bottom of her foot, dark with dirt and specks of gravel stuck to it. “Looks like a bad bruise. Maybe from a rock.”
Riley bit her lower lip. “Sounds right.”
“Can you walk?” He levered her back to standing on her own.
“Of course.” One careful step forward. Then another. “Thanks for taking care of LouLou, but you don’t have to hang around.” She winced and took another step, face as white as the knuckles clutching her dog. “I’ve got it from here. No problem.”
It was painful to watch. Still, she’d said to back off, so he did. Until she stumbled, almost dropping the poodle, and a car horn blared at her for hogging up the road.
“This is ridiculous.” He scooped her up, exactly like he’d done with her dog. Unlike LouLou, she wasn’t grateful.
“Hey! What’re you doing?” Riley couldn’t bat at his chest because she was holding onto her dog, but she glared. “You can’t swoop in and take over everything.”
“Hang on tight. I’m taking you home.” Caleb clutched Riley and LouLou against his chest, her legs over his arm like in some damn rom-com movie, and strode back toward her condo. If he wasn’t mistaken, he could hear Eliza’s cackle following them, but he didn’t care. It felt good to save LouLou, and it felt even better to have Riley in his arms.

Excerpted from Cold Nose, Warm Heart by Mara Wells. © 2020 by Mara Wells. 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 Cold Nose, Warm Heart

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Mara Wells loves stories, but especially stories with kissing. She lives in Hollywood, Florida with her family and two rescue dogs—a poodle-mix named Houdini Beauregarde, and Sheba Reba Rita Peanut, a chihuahua-mix. To find out more, you can sign up for her newsletter at marawellsauthor.com.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: WICKED COWBOY WOLF by Kait Ballenger

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WICKED COWBOY WOLF (Seven Range Shifters Book 3) by Kait Ballenger

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance 

Synopsis

7449563C-08AB-452C-A2CA-0DF3A60B7DD0To his enemies, he’s known as the Rogue. To her, he’s her only chance at survival…

Years ago, Grey Wolf Jared Black was cast from the pack for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, he’s the mysterious criminal wolf known only as the Rogue, a name his former packmates won’t soon forget. But when a vampire threat endangers the lives of their entire species, Jared must confront his former packmates again, even if that means betraying the only woman he’s ever loved…

Ever since Maeve Gray escaped the pack’s bloodsucking enemies, she’s been determined to save her species—and fast. Each passing day risks the lives of her friends and family. But when a wicked cowboy wolf shows up on the Grey Wolf ranch, offering everything Maeve’s heart desires, her eyes are opened to a whole new world beyond the packlands. For this cowgirl, sleeping with the enemy could prove as desirable as it is deadly…

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Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this installment in the Seven Range Shifter Series. In large part to the Rogue and his group. They had a great bond and camaraderie that made me like them all instantly. They were fun to read about and showed what a good man Rogue/Jared was. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Mae but came to realize that is because she was kept in the dark about so much in the past. Despite being kept in a gilded cage for so long, she showed inner strength when needed. For me, the story was all about Rogue. His tortured past and wounded heart grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It was fun watching their relationship grow – despite their best efforts – into a passionate romance.

The story was nicely written and flowed nicely from one scene to the next. I had a problem with some things being glossed over. Especially obtaining the main driving force of the story. Poof, it was there, leaving me feeling a little cheated. A fun read. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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

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Excerpt

The pink summer sunset had long since faded to nightfall by the time Mae returned to her cottage on the other side of the Grey Wolf compound. As she approached home, she cringed at the thought of the poor excuse she’d given Alexander. There was no way he’d bought her lie. Sure, she and Maverick had scheduled Alexander for a meeting with the Pact, which was a small step forward, but if they didn’t get him on board and fast, their prospects were limited. But Mae was determined. She would find a way to save
her pack. She had to.

Feeling more than a little defeated, she shuffled up to her door, scanning the other nearby pack cabins. Hers was one of many adjacent to the dining hall and the main compound building, which housed the elite warriors and the main pack offices. She grabbed her keys from her purse. As she did so, she glanced over her shoulder, as if she might find the Rogue lingering there in the darkness. But she didn’t. He’d disappeared without a trace.

She released a long sigh. From what she knew of his dangerous
reputation, it was just like the arrogant bastard to trod right into a pack of alphas that would just as soon see
him torn apart. He really was a rogue with a devil-may-care attitude to match his title. She gripped her keys tighter in her hand.

After unlocking her front door, she slipped inside.

Immediately, the taps of tiny hooves clopping against tile sounded from the darkness. She flicked on the dim entryway light. Tucker, her teacup pig, stared up at her from the white tiled floor, his beady black eyes sparkling with pleasure at her arrival. He let out a pleased oink. Mae grinned.

Bending down, she scooped him into her arms, coddling him like a baby as she cooed at him. Still a piglet, Tucker was no bigger than a small dog, and according to the breeder, he’d been the runt of the teacup litter and would likely stay small.

With Tucker cradled against her, Mae made quick work of feeding him a bottle of milk replacer before snuggling him into his fluffy, pink dog bed in her living room. Once the piglet was rocked to sleep, she showered before she changed into her nightgown and settled into the comfort of her bedsheets. The day had left her worn out, but her mind refused to calm.

Had she really seen the Rogue, or had it all been in her head?

That question still plagued her. She wasn’t sure how he would have gotten onto the ranch without detection, especially considering the heightened security for the reception.

She shook her head. It must have been her imagination, a memory triggered by the stress of Alexander’s questions. The Rogue couldn’t possibly have shown up at Wolf Pack Run only to disappear again.

Though it had felt so real…

She sighed, sinking deeper into her mattress. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d thought of him since their encounter in the vampire coven.

Heat rose in her cheeks. She’d dreamed of him almost every night since—and not in the way she should have. The memory of the night when her life had been threatened by bloodsuckers was a dark one, but when she dreamed of that night, of him, her dream often took a completely different course from reality. Instead of dreaming of the danger she’d faced, she’d woken more than once to the thought of his uncharacteristic heroism as he whisked her from the vampires’ cells, only to find her own hand exploring between her legs.

It was sick. She knew it. She shouldn’t be attracted to a dangerous criminal like him. Despite that, he stirred something primitive inside her. She knew what sort of dark circles he traveled in, yet she couldn’t seem to help it. A wolf like the Rogue was everything forbidden to her: a non–Grey Wolf, a vigilante. Not to mention one of her brother’s enemies, and the antithesis of every criterion she should consider for a mate.

Somehow, that only made him more appealing.

By her birthright, she was destined for a Grey Wolf alpha warrior. She shuddered at the thought. The Grey Wolf warriors were all fine men, handsome cowboys, but they were practically her brothers. Mae tossed and turned in her bed as she tried to put the Rogue from her mind, but still his face taunted her.

Eventually, her hand trailed beneath her nightgown. Maybe if she eased this ache, the desire would go away. Maybe then, sleep would claim her. Slowly, her fingers probed the folds between her legs, locating her own clit. She knew her body, what she liked.

Gently, she massaged and probed as she remembered how it had felt when the warmth of his breath had brushed against her ear, the deep timbre of his voice thrumming through her.

You won’t regret this, he’d whispered.

She imagined his lips trailing downward.

What would it be like to be with a criminal like him?

Something told her every touch, every caress would be more powerful, more sinful…just more. Soon, she was
moaning in climax, the walls of her core tightening in a delicious wave that sent a rush of moisture straight to her center. She cried out, arching her back against the pillows.

As the last throes of her orgasm shook her, she relaxed into her sheets, sated, though it was little more than a fantasy. At that thought, a pang of sorrow thrummed through her. That was all her dreams would ever be—fantasy. Not just him, but all her heart’s desires. She wanted more than she could have. She always had. She loved her pack, but the duties that bound her to them had never been her choice.

She may have been a Grey by birth, but if she were braver, she’d live her own life. She’d make her own choices.

If she were free…

Mae lay there, the weight of the things she’d never have pressing down on her, constraining her chest so much that she struggled to breathe.

If only…

At least she could dream. Her dreams and desires were hers alone. She released a long sigh, switching on the light of her bedside table as she reached for a book to read. Until the sound of a familiar voice came from the darkness.

“Evenin’, Princess.”

Excerpted from Wicked Cowboy Wolf by Kait Ballenger. © 2020 by Kait Ballenger. 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

5 Copies of Cowboy in Wolf’s Clothing

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About the Author

ROMANCE AUTHOR, WORLD TRAVELER, ENGLISH PROFESSOR, AND FORMER PROFESSIONAL
BELLYDANCER, Kait Ballenger hated reading when she was a child, because she was horrible at it. Then by chance she picked up the Harry Potter series at the age of eight, fell in love with reading, and never looked back. When she realized she could tell her own stories, the deal was sealed. After stints working as a real vampire (aka a phlebotomist), a bingo caller, and a professional bellydancer, Kait finally decided that her eight-year-old self knew best: Kait’s meant to be a writer…though the jury is still out on being the next J.K Rowling.

When Kait’s not preoccupied with writing captivating paranormal romance, page-turning suspense or love scenes that make even seasoned romance readers blush, she can usually be found spending time with her family or with her nose buried in a good book. She lives in Florida with her husband and two young sons.

And yes, she can still bellydance with the best of them…

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