Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE OUTLAW’S HEART by Amy Sandas

93BA2B0E-4A07-4845-86D7-EC698EBE242A
THE OUTLAW’S HEART (Runaway Brides Book 3) by Amy Sandas

Publication Date: October 29, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

6B06EF2E-E22C-48F8-9088-284FC26A68F1Three runaway brides
Determined to escape their fates
Flee West to find freedom that can only be had
in a cowboy’s arms…

Desperate to escape an unhappy marriage, Boston socialite Evelyn Perkins flees west in hopes of losing herself to the dusty frontier. But when her train is boarded by outlaws, Evelyn is taken for ransom. Despite her terror, Evelyn fears being returned to her husband more. Refusing to cooperate, she becomes the responsibility of a man whose steady gaze threatens to pierce her brave façade and reach the wounded heart within.

Gabriel Sloan has his orders, but the haunting shadows in the pretty young woman’s eyes spark an intense protective instinct he can’t deny. Every look, every touch brings them closer together. He would do anything to protect her, but dangerous men are on their trail, and soon the two must face Evelyn’s darkest nightmare— or risk losing the unexpected joy they’ve found forever…

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

“ The tall, muscled man who’d stared at her across the fire was even more intimidating up close. He had expansive shoulders, thick arms barely contained in his pale-colored cotton shirt, and powerful legs encased in worn denim. In a graceful economy of muscle and movement, he folded his large body into a crouch, bringing his face even with hers.
And what a face it was. Strong and beautiful in a way she’d never seen before. He had a broad forehead and a long, straight nose. His jaw was sharply angled, as were his cheekbones, but his mouth was wide and his lips were soft and full.
But unsmiling.
Startled by his unexpected proximity, Evelyn flinched when he lifted his hand, realizing belatedly that he held a canteen and was offering it to her.
He did not react to her obvious fear. Instead, he remained still—his expression flat as his eyes held hers. “It’s water,” he said.
His voice matched the rest of him—richly complex and powerful. Something strange rolled through her at the sound. Like anticipation of a storm when you hear the rumble of distant thunder, but warmer.
Her lashes flickered as she glanced down at the canteen. She was unbelievably thirsty, but how could she trust anything offered by men who held her captive?
“If you want to survive, you’ll drink the water and eat the food,” he said quietly. The words were just between them. Still she did not reach for the canteen. “You want to live?” he asked, raising a brow.
Evelyn lifted her chin, regaining eye contact with the man, despite her uncertainty and fear. “Yes, I want to live,” she replied, surprising herself by the conviction in her words.
With a single, short nod, he extended the canteen a bit more. “Then drink.”
She lifted her hands to take the water, but because of the binding rope and her frozen fingers, she couldn’t grasp it.
Realizing her predicament, he gave a quiet grunt, then set the canteen on the ground and reached for her wrists. His large, warm hands surrounded her curled fists. He held them in silence for a moment—as if his only intention was to share his heat and offer comfort.
Though Evelyn felt the icy stiffness in her fingers dissipating, she resisted the instinctive desire to accept anything more. But she didn’t pull away.
And she wasn’t sure why.
“Don’t be scared,” he stated, still in a private tone. “You won’t be hurt.”
She searched his gaze in the darkness. She wanted to believe him, but she knew far too well how easily a man could hide wicked intent. “I am not so naive,” she replied, her voice barely more than a murmur of sound.
He did nothing to indicate he heard her reply as he released his hold on her hands and deftly loosened the ropes. He did not remove them altogether, but he allowed for a bit of freedom to use her hands more effectively. Then he picked up the canteen and offered it once again.
Evelyn managed to bring it to her lips this time and took a few long drinks. The water soothed her throat, but it also made her very aware of her empty stomach. Lowering the canteen, she offered it back to the man who remained patiently beside her. Watching her in silence.
His nearness was discomfiting. As were his size and his quiet manner.
She had no idea what to make of him. There was strength in him, something his muscled form attested to without effort, but he displayed not the slightest hint of temper or violence.
Of course, Matthew hadn’t either…until something set him off.
The outlaw took the canteen, never shifting his gaze from hers. Not even when the voices around the fire rose higher in discord.
“Shit,” the young one named Ramsey exclaimed, frustration clear in his tone. “We can still ransom the woman. I mean, look at her.”
Evelyn stiffened under the sudden flood of attention. The man crouched before her was still watching her carefully, and she feared she might have revealed her trepidation when his brows lowered over his gaze.
Did she really believe she was better off with these outlaws than in her husband’s hands?
Yes. Yes, she did. But that didn’t mean she was not in danger.
He stared at her for a moment longer before he rose to his feet and walked away without a word, leaving the canteen on the ground beside her. She couldn’t keep her gaze from following his powerful form as he melted into the darkness beyond the fire while the others continued discussing her fate.
She expected to release a breath of relief at being left alone again, but it didn’t come.
“With her fancy clothes and fine airs, there’s gotta be someone somewhere who’ll be willing to pay good money to get her back.”
Evelyn listened to the exchange with increasing tension. These men were right about one thing. Her husband would no doubt be willing to pay a small fortune to get her back. But there was nothing in the world that would convince her to tell them that.

Excerpted from The Outlaw’s Heart by Amy Sandas. © 2019 by Amy Sandas. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

~*~*~*~
F822856F-DC6B-4AC2-9DD6-1E053A412353

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

~*~*~*~

Runaway Brides Series:
The Gunslinger’s Vow (Book 1)
The Cowboy’s Honor (Book 2)
The Outlaw’s Heart (Book 3)

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

5 Copies of The Cowboy’s Honor

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

Amy Sandas’ love of romance began one summer when she stumbled across one of her mother’s Barbara Cartland books. Her affinity for writing began with sappy pre-teen poems and led to a Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She lives with her husband and children in Wisconsin.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Advertisements

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: COWBOY FIREFIGHTER CHRISTMAS KISS by Kim Redford

754179BE-4BAA-48B3-B37A-23D3FB6809F2
COWBOY FIREFIGHTER CHRISTMAS KISS (Smokin’ Hot Cowboys, Book 5) by Kim Redford

Publication Date: October 29, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

A12FC05E-9AA5-4537-ABED-00599D763CBBThe firefighting cowboys of Wildcat Bluffs take Christmas VERY seriously…

When Ivy Bryant arrives in town to run the historic honkytonk, she finds herself immersed in traditions that can’t be bucked. Luckily, cowboy firefighter Slade Steele has an idea to increase both the honkytonk’s income, and his own. It’s an offer Ivy couldn’t refuse, even if the passion between them wasn’t already reaching the boiling point.

Ivy and Slade’s love story is legendary—when you add in arsonist cattle rustlers, a runaway Angus bull, and a chili recipe that includes liquor AND chocolate, Wildcat Bluffs will be celebrating a cowboy Christmas unlike any other.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

As Ivy Bryant stood on her tiptoes with arms raised to toss decorative tinsel over deer antlers on the wall above her head, she heard the side door that led to the Wildcat Hall’s beer garden open and boots hit the floor with a determined stride.
“We’re closed!” she hollered, not bothering to look over her shoulder. “Come back next week.”
“You look like you could use a little help,” a man said.
She froze with her hands in the air as she felt the deep male voice with that melodic, slow cadence of a born-and-bred Texan strike her body and go deep, as if she’d been pierced by a flaming arrow. Talk about red-hot. She tried to shrug off the heat, but the chair shifted under her, making her sway.
“Easy does it,” he said. “Chairs have a way of pretending they’re bulls sometimes.”
“Bulls?” She didn’t know whether to laugh at the joke or appreciate he’d tried to make her feel better about almost toppling to the floor. Still and all, if she’d known she was going to have company, she’d have put on something besides formfitting yoga pants and top in hot pink with black trim. He was getting an eyeful.
“In my case, I always tried to pretend bulls were chairs.”
“How’d that work out?” She eyed the antlers, mind half on her next throw and half on the amusing man behind her.
“About like you can imagine.” He sighed, as if life had been unfair. “I finally had to give up bulls for chairs.”
“I bet the bulls were grateful.” She definitely wanted to see the face that went with the voice, but she wanted to finish her task more.
“Yeah…but I’ve broken a few chairs.”
“Maybe even one of the chairs here in the honkytonk.”
“Might be. Looks like your chair is keeping an uneasy peace with the floor
“That’s one way of putting it.” She rose to her tiptoes again, trying one last time to get the tinsel to disobey the laws of gravity.
“Let me help.” He spanned her waist with large hands and lifted her so she could easily reach the antlers.
She caught her breath in surprise at his strength—and his boldness. But she wasn’t looking a gift horse in the mouth. She quickly twined the antlers with red tinsel until they looked festive for the holidays.
“Pretty,” he said.
She shivered in response. What had gotten into her? She should be struggling to get away. Instead, he was revving her up with his hot hands.
“Got any more tinsel to put up?” he asked in a deep voice gone husky. “I could hold you all day and into next week.”
“I suggest you put me down before you get into trouble.”
“If you’re the one handing out trouble, I’d wait in line to get it.”
She couldn’t help but chuckle because he was laying it on thick in that teasing way Texas men would do to get them out of problems with women. “Better put me down before your arms give out.”
“Not a chance. You’re light as a feather.”
She laughed harder. “Guess some women would fall for that one. What are you selling?”
“As a matter of fact, I’m here to help you, but you might consider it selling to you, too.” He gently set her down so her feet were steady on the floor, and then he stepped back.
She turned to face him—and felt her breath catch in her throat at the tall hunk of a cowboy. He wore pressed Wranglers that accentuated his long legs and narrow hips, with a wide leather belt sporting a huge rodeo belt buckle. His blue-and-white-striped, pearl-snap shirt tucked neatly into the waistband of his jeans emphasized the width of his shoulders and breadth of his chest. Blond haired. Blue eyed. Square jawed. Full lipped. He looked as if he’d been made to dazzle—and she was suddenly and breathtakingly susceptible to every single one of his charms.
“Whatever you’re selling, I think I’m buying.” She spoke the words with a teasing lilt in her voice and a mischievous smile on her face. Still, she meant it. And he probably knew it because he was definitely heartbreaker material. How many women had already fallen to his charms and been left in the dust? She didn’t intend to be a notch on his belt, but if she’d known leaving the city for the country paid off so well in eye candy, she might’ve followed her sister sooner.
He chuckled at her words and held out his hand with a thick, muscular wrist that came from controlling thousand-pound-plus animals. “Slade Steele. If you haven’t heard of me, maybe you’re aware of the Chuckwagon Café and Steele Trap Ranch. Family businesses. I’m not just any guy off the street.”
“You’re definitely not just any guy.” She slipped her hand into his big one and felt him gently enclose her fingers. “Smart guy to throw a few compliments my way. Guess you’re more than a pretty face.” She tried to keep the teasing going, so their interaction stayed on a light note, but he was still holding her hand and she wasn’t pulling away and his eyes were heating up to a blazing blue fire.
“Nothing but the truth.”
“My sister Fern is the star.” She tried to tug her hand away, but he held on another long moment, nodding as if deciding something or conveying something or accepting something before finally letting go.
He grinned with a gleam in his eyes, revealing teeth white against the tan of his skin. “Yeah, she is that…but you make the earth move.”
“Oh my.” She returned his grin while fanning her face with one hand in that old Southern way, as if he was too hot to handle. “You really do want to sell me something, don’t you?”
“How am I doing?”
“Not bad.”

Excerpted from Cowboy Firefighter Christmas Kiss by Kim Redford. © 2019 by Kim Redford. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
~*~*~*~

434C45FF-2B46-47C7-B489-BEC5803D5114

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

5 Copies of Hot for a Cowboy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

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.

~*~*~*~

Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: A LIE FOR A LIE by Helena Hunting

87AE2C55-9BBC-4AEF-9093-D6F33F1BBD48

A LIE FOR A LIE (All In Series Book 1) by Helena Hunting

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author Guest Post

Guest Post: Lainey vs. Puck Bunnies in A Lie for a Lie

A Lie for a Lie is a heartwarming, sexy, emotional romantic comedy. It’s a second chance romance, filled with secrets and there are definitely some exciting, fun twists. It’s also a story of empowerment, self-discovery, and independence.

Rook Bowman, aka RJ or Rookie as he has been known as previously, has recently taken on the role as captain of Chicago’s NHL team, and with that role comes big responsibility and more fame than he sometimes knows how to handle. As with any professional sport, the NHL lifestyle can often be full of excess and decadence; money, fame and an endless stream of women who will do just about anything to get into bed with them, and it’s not always easy to avoid that kind of temptation.

When we meet Rook in A Lie for a Lie we learn that he has a less than shiny past when it comes to the excess and the puck bunnies (hockey groupies). NHL players are often drafted quite young—just watch a game and you’ll notice that the rookies can often barely grown peach fuzz, let alone a full beard. They’re still teenagers when they start their careers, and Rook was no different. Having grown up on an alpaca farm in rural New York, his focus was mainly hockey and the family farm, but once he hit the pros he found himself surrounded by women who literally threw themselves at him. And being young, attractive and full of testosterone, he fell headfirst down that rabbit hole. At least until the drama found him in the form of a fake pregnancy and a social media firestorm. Because of that, and the impact it had on his relationship with his family, Rook swears off the bunnies and refocuses on his career, rather than extracurricular activities.

He meets Lainey on the way to Alaska, where he’s gone every summer since he was a teenager with his dad and his brother. He lost his father a few years earlier, but kept the tradition with his brother because he craves the escape from the demands of his life as an NHL superstar. Lainey encapsulates everything he misses about being a “normal guy.” She doesn’t recognize him or seem to even know anything about hockey, and that makes her even more alluring. For once, he can just be himself. He doesn’t have to worry about ulterior motives or being used. Lainey is refreshingly innocent, incredibly smart, genuine and overwhelmingly sweet and Rook finds himself enamored with her sense of adventure. As they get to know each other, Rook learns about her traumatic past and realizes that despite the challenges she’s faced, Lainey possesses a quiet strength and resilience. Add some insane chemistry and you’ve got a recipe for love. Unfortunately for Rook, he built their entire fragile relationship on lie he can’t take back.

~*~*~*~

88A908B3-5FA3-4D20-AF6D-67F5DF1E14C9

Synopsis

C040BC59-AE0A-4A01-ADB7-798DDC621AB2Sometimes I need an escape from the demands, the puck bunnies, and the notoriety that come with being an NHL team captain. I just want to be a normal guy for a few weeks. So when I leave Chicago for some peace and quiet, the last thing I expect is for a gorgeous woman to literally fall into my lap on a flight to Alaska. Even better, she has absolutely no idea who I am.

Lainey is the perfect escape from my life. My plan for seclusion becomes a month long sex fest punctuated with domestic bliss. But it ends just as abruptly as it began. When I’m called away on a family emergency, I realize too late that I have no way to contact Lainey.

A year later, a chance encounter throws Lainey and me together again. But I still have a lie hanging over my head, and Lainey’s keeping secrets of her own. With more than lust at stake, the truth may be our game changer.

~*~*~*~

Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this sweet romance about a summer fling, little white lies, and reuniting. Although I couldn’t relate to Lainey and her insecurities, I totally understood his attraction to her. Nicely done, Ms. Hunting. It is written in first person, each given their own voice that deftly conveyed their feelings without bogging down the story. Yes, RJ is a hockey player, but the story did not revolve around that. So those that are not fans of sports novels will also love it.

RJ was lovable while keeping his manliness. I’m glad he came across as determined instead of weak and desperate. So many things made me smile and swoon a little. They made a great couple in and out of the bed. There were steamy parts, but it was more about instant attraction, overcoming obstacles and how love can blend two opposite lifestyles.

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

~*~*~*~
98338003-A00C-4C36-8BEA-92603237130F

Excerpt

When Lainey excuses herself to the bathroom, I rush upstairs and throw on a T-shirt. I know she said whatever makes me comfortable, but sitting around shirtless is such a douche move.

I make it back to the kitchen and pour her a fresh drink before she returns from the bathroom.

“How can I help with dinner?” Lainey drapes her sweater over the back of a chair.

And my mouth goes dry. Like I ate an entire sleeve of saltines and chased it with a tablespoon of salt. So far I’ve only seen Lainey in a giant parka or an oversize sweater. Under all that bulky fabric is one hell of a body. She’s wearing a simple white waffle shirt that conforms to her curves. A pair of dark-wash skinny jeans encase her toned legs.

I’m used to bunnies throwing themselves at me, often in questionable states of undress. I stopped getting excited about miniskirts and revealing tops a long time ago. There’s something infinitely sexier about a woman who can show off her body without actually showing it off at all.

Lainey tips her head to the side. Her teeth press into her full bottom lip. I want to do that. Suck that pouty, full lip between my teeth and bite it. I want to do a lot of other, far more explicit things than that, but a kiss seems like a good place to start.

“RJ? Is everything okay?” Her eyes dip down to my chest. I’m wearing a shirt from one of my endorsement campaigns. It afforded me the extensive renovations on this cabin a few years ago.

“Huh?” I give my head a shake. “Oh. Yeah. Everything’s good. Sorry, zoned out there for a second.”

She smiles and pushes up on her toes, her eyes twinkling—like, they legit light up, and her excitement makes her entire body vibrate. It also makes her boobs jiggle. I try to keep my eyes glued to her face. It’s not easy, though.

“I do that all the time! Sometimes my brain is busy with so many thoughts I miss entire conversations. Does that happen to you too?”

I grin. I love that she seems to say whatever is on her mind. “All the time.”

“It’s actually a helpful skill when you’re being lectured, because I can sort through stuff in my head, but it’s not so great when your supervising professor is telling you what’s wrong with your thesis.” She pulls her hair over her shoulder and finger combs it.

“I take it that’s happened to you.”

“It did. Thankfully he also emailed all his criticisms, so missing out on it the first time wasn’t that big of a deal.” She divides her hair into three sections and deftly braids it without looking at what she’s doing even once. It’s pretty damn impressive. I almost want to pull it apart so I can watch her do it all over again. “Anyway, enough about that. Let’s get started on dinner!” She nudges me out of the way so she can wash her hands. She dries them on her jeans and moves over to the fridge, opening it to check out the contents.

I kind of like that she makes herself at home. I’m used to women who expect to be catered to. It’s refreshing to meet someone who doesn’t want me to pander to her.

I start pulling things out of the fridge as she starts naming items she’ll need and set them on the counter. I manage to locate most of what she asks for.

“What about garlic? Do you have any of that?” She leans over, peering into the fridge beside me. Her braid slips over her shoulder, skimming my arm.

“Uh, maybe we could forgo the garlic?”

“Are you allergic? My oldest brother gets bloated when he eats it. It took us forever to figure out what was causing it. Sometimes I’ll still put some in when he’s coming for dinner, because it’s funny to see him look like he’s expecting.” She tips her head to the side. “Or you just don’t like garlic?”

“I like it sometimes, but it depends.”

Her brows pinch together. “On what?”

“Who I’m eating with. I mean, if I’m going out with buddies, you bet I’m gonna order the honey garlic wings, or the cheesy garlic bread, or the pasta Alfredo. But if I’m eating dinner with a pretty girl, I’m gonna pass on the garlic.”

“Oh.” She twists the end of her braid around her finger.

I hope I’m not reading things wrong and making her uncomfortable.

“Does that mean you think I’m pretty?”

That she sounds genuinely curious as to my answer is unexpected. “You see yourself in the mirror every day—what do you think?”

She averts her gaze, still playing with the end of her braid. “My eyes are too big, so I always look like I’m surprised. My nose is small, and my lips are too full, so my mouth doesn’t really fit the rest of my face.”

“Wow. I think you need a new mirror, because all I see is a whole lot of gorgeous.”

She snorts a laugh and waves me off. “Once, I took a portrait class, and we learned all about proportion and symmetry of the face. Those are just my flaws based on what I was taught.”

“Well, I’m a big fan of all your flaws, and I think they make you more beautiful, not less.”

“Thanks. I think you’re beautiful too.” She cringes. “I mean handsome. You’re very nice to look at, with or without a shirt on. When I fell in your lap on the airplane, I remember thinking, At least I fell on someone nice looking.”

“Is that so?”

“Mm-hmm.” She opens a drawer, maybe to avoid looking at me. “And as much as I was mortified when you sat beside me on the Cessna, I couldn’t complain about the view, inside or outside of the plane. That you turned out to be really nice, and just so helpful, was a great bonus.” She hands me a roll of foil. “Why don’t you wrap the potatoes? They take the longest, so we should get started on those first.”

I put the potatoes on the barbecue and let Lainey order me around. She definitely knows her way around a kitchen. When I was growing up, my mom did most of the cooking, but my dad could make a mean Saturday-morning brunch. He also made great bread, which I miss a lot.

An hour later we’re seated at the table, plates full of steak, twice-baked potatoes, and crispy brussels sprouts cooked in bacon fat. I open a bottle of red wine and offer Lainey a glass.

“Just a little bit? I’m not sure I like red wine.”

“Maybe you just haven’t had the right red wine.” I pour a little into her glass.

She picks it up and gives it a swirl, then sniffs it. “I’ve seen people do this in the movies, but I don’t really know what the point is,” she admits, then tips the glass back and takes a tentative sip. Her expression turns thoughtful; then she takes another, slightly more robust sip. “This is actually really nice. I like it. Maybe the red wine I had before was bad.”

“Maybe. Some of the cheap stuff tastes pretty awful.” I pour more into her glass before filling mine. I hold up my glass and wait for her to raise hers.

“To chance meetings.”

“To new adventures and great company to share them with.” We toast and take a sip, each smiling behind the rim.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

If you have Kindle Unlimited you can borrow this series for Free!

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card and Digital Copy of Helena Hunting’s A LIE FOR A LIE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

965E5447-1A96-428F-B355-4B949A912726New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: ONE DARK WISH (Deadly Force) by Sharon Wray

66713DF6-0EB7-4975-AEBD-FE28929BE3D9

ONE DARK WISH (Deadly Force Series, Book 2) by Sharon Wray

Publication Date: September 24, 2019 

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

2885ECBD-6FB2-4E0B-B61F-A38D3742AE66Her life must be forfeit for his to be redeemed

Historian Sarah Munro is not used to being shot at, but that’s just what happens while she’s poking around cemeteries on Georgia’s Isle of Grace, searching for the key to a centuries-old cipher. Her quest has unwittingly drawn the attention of two deadly enemies intent on destroying each other—and anyone who gets in their way.

Ex–Green Beret Major Nate Walker is on a mission of his own: to restore the honor of his men. To do that, he is required to stop Sarah—or one of his own men will die. Caught in the middle of a deadly rivalry, Nate can’t afford to trust the woman standing in his way. But his heart says he can’t afford not to…

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

PROLOGUE 

“The man bowed.” Sarah Munro hiked her straw bag higher on her shoulder and followed the officer down the Savannah Police Department’s hallway. He held a cell phone to his ear, and she yanked his arm. “And a woman died tonight.” 

He nodded, but his deep frown, as well as his dismissive wave, told her he wasn’t too concerned about the murder. Or the fact that Sarah had found the body in the Savannah Preservation Office’s courtyard fountain. 

Was a death in the historic district so commonplace that it didn’t warrant its own investigator? Frustrated, she followed him around the corner toward the second-floor landing when her cell phone buzzed. A text from her father. Where are you? 

She halted near the stairs, her fingers hovering over the phone’s keyboard. She debated how much to tell him. Then again, he probably already knew. 

She texted, I’ll be home soon. 

Someone bumped her as they passed, and she moved closer to the vending machine that carried only rows of Coke cans. Her officer stood nearby, talking on the phone, while federal, state, and local LEOs congregated in groups around the open area. Her father had told her that the city had numerous task forces, all trying to combat the rising crime rate. She and her dad had returned to Savannah nine months ago, and in that short time, they’d both noticed the uptick in drug use and violence. 

It’s dark. I’ll come get you, her father texted back. 

No. Not only did she not want her father worrying about her, he wasn’t supposed to drive. I’m leaving soon. Drink your tea. 

I hate that tea. It tastes like sh*t. 

Despite the ache in her chest, she smiled. Yes, he hated the tea. Yet it was the only thing that helped with his recurring seizures. And if he thought that being even more cranky than usual meant she’d ease up on the herbal leaves, he was wrong. I don’t care. Drink it. 

She glanced at her officer—who was still on his phone—and debated leaving. If the cops wanted her statement, they knew where she worked. The same place where a woman had been murdered. “I’m leaving, Officer. But I know what I saw.” 

He ignored her, and she turned toward the stairs. 

“Sarah?” A male voice cut through the station’s din, ringing phones, and metal chairs scraping along seventy-year-old linoleum. 

She blinked one man into focus. Tall, broad shoulders, long blond hair tied at the base of his neck, angular face, and deep, ocean-green eyes. The kind a girl could lose herself in. “Nate?” 

Was that her breathy voice? She swallowed, and a warm flush rose from her neck to her cheeks. She wasn’t sure why, but since meeting Nate Walker yesterday, she’d felt shaky and incoherent and…restless. 

Does he know what I did to his map? 

“I heard what happened.” He touched her arm before shoving both hands in the front pockets of his jeans. His biker jacket stretched across his shoulders, the black leather rustling with the movement. “Are you okay?” 

“I wasn’t hurt.” She stared at the red-and-white vending machine and blinked. Daughters of cops didn’t cry. They endured. “This is my fault, Nate. I’d asked my assistant to do some research for me. I had no idea she was staying late.” 

“This isn’t your fault.” He leaned in closer, the scar on his cheek appearing deeper and more ragged. His pine-scented aftershave tickled her nose. “I’m sorry.” 

She wiped her palms on her chiffon skirt, relieved he didn’t seem to realize she’d secretly photographed the seventeenth-century map he’d brought to the preservation office for her to look at. The map included the only layout she’d ever seen of the remote, colonial-era Cemetery of Lost Children on the Isle of Grace. Even though the property’s owner—and Nate himself—had both told her to stay away, she was determined to visit as soon as possible. 

She was a terrible person. “My dad was a police chief in Boston, so unfortunately I’m used to things like this. I’d just hoped Savannah was safer.” 

“Nate?” A man built like a wrestler with long, black, braided hair yelled from the lobby on the first floor. “We gotta go, man.” 

Nate ignored him and kept his attention on her mouth. “I couldn’t help but overhear. What did you see?” 

She licked her lips. “You’d never believe me.” She wasn’t sure she believed it herself. Loud voices downstairs distracted her. Two military policemen in full uniform and carrying weapons had entered the station. “That’s odd. What do you think they want?” 

Nate took her hand and led her into a nearby alcove. “What did you see?” 

She pressed her hands against his chest. His heart pounded, and he radiated heat like an engine revving. “What are you doing?” 

“Nate?” The man with the braid ran up the stairs. “Time to go. Now.” 

“Please, Sarah. Tell me. 

The MPs were right behind Nate’s buddy. 

“In the shadows, I saw a man bow.” 

She heard Nate’s sharp inhale right before he kissed her, his gentle hands on her shoulders at odds with his demanding lips. His warmth wrapped her in an erotic haze and he tasted like mint and summer breezes. 

Had she moaned? Good golly Moses. 

“Excuse me, ma’am.” 

Nate broke off the kiss because the man with the braid had taken his arm and dragged him down the hallway to the emergency exit, the MPs on their heels. Chills scurried along her arms, and she wrapped her sweater around herself. She touched her swollen lips, still stunned. Still tasting his peppermint mouthwash. Still inhaling his scent that reminded her of freshly cut grass and pine trees. 

Nate glanced at her before he hit the metal exit and disappeared. The door slammed shut with a loud reverb. Apparently, he’d locked it as well. When the MPs couldn’t force it open, they turned and ran past her, one of them brushing her skirt as they headed toward the stairs. 

What do MPs want with Nate Walker? 

“Miss Munro?” The officer who’d been ignoring her touched her elbow. “I’m ready for your statement.” 

She pulled away, her attention on the MPs racing out the front doors. She was a woman who sought the truth in both her professional and personal life. But tonight’s revelation was more than a cheap magazine tell-all. It was an earth-shattering event that stripped away the delusions she’d been carrying her entire adult life. One delusion in particular: when Nate’s lips had touched hers, she discovered she’d never truly understood what it meant to be kissed. 

“Ma’am?” 

She nodded. She’d give her statement. Then go home to her father. But as she followed the officer into an interrogation room, she couldn’t help but wonder if she’d ever see Nate again. No. If she was being honest with herself, which she always tried to be, she wondered if she’d ever kiss Nate again. 

Excerpted from One Dark Wish by Sharon Wray. © 2019 by Sharon Wray. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

~*~*~*~

73627475-D6B6-40C6-925F-B4735ECCD88D

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

5 Copies of EVERY DEEP DESIRE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

~*~*~*~

About the Author

Version 3Sharon Wray is a librarian/archivist who studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes stories of adventure, suspense, and love. She’s a three-time Daphne du Maurier® winner and an eight-time RWA Golden Heart® Finalist. She lives with her super-hero husband and teenage twins in Northern Virginia.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

~*~*~*~

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: SILVER TOWN WOLF: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS by Terry Spear

2B547EFD-7207-445E-8AB6-52246B753ED9

SILVER TOWN WOLF: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS by Terry Spear

Publication Date: September 24, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

0A2307B4-2537-4C40-970A-F843856C72EDSilver Town is howling with Christmas cheer

Gray wolves Meghan MacTire and Sheriff Peter Jorgenson plan to spend the rest of their lives together, and what better time to start forever than Christmas? But they are both harboring dark secrets that are about to surface and threaten their future together. With holiday magic in the air and all Silver Town ready to celebrate, Meghan and Peter have to conquer the past if they’re to have any hope of spending this Christmas in each other’s arms.

~*~*~*~

Donna 4 stars

This was a fun addition to the Silver Town Wolves. (POSSIBLE SPOILER)  I’m still up in the air about ghosts and how it dominated the story, but it did add an interesting dimension to this sexy romance. The real-life danger dogging Meghan could have carried the story if it had more action and suspense. That may have cut in on the day-to-day building love for each other and bonding with the town. Meghan and Peter made a lovely and believable couple, neither too bogged down in what happened in their pasts. I’m glad they took care of that angle early on so they could focus on everything else going on. This was a nice holiday romance that I enjoyed.

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

~*~*~*~

23CBA38E-B82A-4C28-854B-29672FF4E867

Excerpt

“I have to change clothes,” Meghan MacTire said to her sisters, Laurel and Ellie. She was feeling a little anxious about the date she was going on with Sheriff Peter Jorgenson tonight, since she needed to tell him about her psychic ability to speak with and see ghosts.

Running their Victorian inn in wolf-run Silver Town, Colorado, had been keeping the triplet sister busy during the holiday season. And now it was just ten days until Christmas. Meghan had hoped she and the sheriff could go to her home for an intimate dinner and watch Christmas movies, like they’d been doing whenever they could get the free time. But tonight he wanted to take her out to the Silver Town Tavern. The food and atmosphere were great there, and it was private membership, so only wolves were allowed. Still, it wasn’t as relaxing after a hectic day. Especially when everyone in the pack was wondering if Peter and she were mating. If not, other bachelor males in the pack were waiting in the wings. Some were sure to see her and Peter at the tavern and would be keeping an eye on their relationship.

“Do you think he’s going to ask you tonight if you want to mate him?” Laurel asked. Her sisters had been dying to know when Peter would pop the question. They were both mated to Silver brothers and couldn’t wait until Meghan was mated as well.

“I don’t know. I’ll let you in on it if it happens, you know.” Meghan had been dating Peter for over a year now, not really typical but everyone was different. Sam and Silva, owners of a tea shop and the tavern, had dated for years before they finally tied the knot. Peter didn’t seem to be in a rush to ask Meghan to mate him, and she needed to discuss some issues with him that could affect how he viewed her.

Besides her ghost abilities, she had sent a wolf to prison before she moved to Silver Town, something one of their kind was never to do, and she hated to tell Peter. Even if he could live with what she’d done, she didn’t want anyone else in the pack to know. Would he be willing to keep her dark secret? Or would it bother him that he had to?

She could imagine the news getting out to the rest of the pack, and she knew some would no longer see her the same way. She wished that night had never happened, but it had. And there was nothing she could do to take it back.

She’d been so hurt the last time she’d mentioned it to a wolf boyfriend that she never wanted to discuss it with anyone again. The ex-boyfriend and her sisters were the only ones who knew. But she had to tell Peter before long. Tomorrow night. She couldn’t do it at the tavern. She had to talk to him privately about it before he asked her if she wanted to mate him, and she thought he might ask soon. She kept thinking something might be holding him back too, some dark secret of his own. Unless she was projecting her own mistake on him.

Meghan managed a smile for her sisters before she became too melancholy thinking about the notion. She pulled on her coat and headed for the back door of the inn.

“Have fun,” Laurel and Ellie both said.

“Thanks!” Meghan hurried outside to reach her Victorian house through the snow-covered garden. Just in case Peter proposed, she planned to wear a red satin dress, hoping she didn’t look too overdressed, as if she was expecting something to happen. But it was Christmastime, and she was going to dress up since she didn’t normally.

When she arrived home, she went upstairs to her bedroom and pulled the dress out of the closet. Maybe it would be a little much. Too dressy. Too shiny. Too sexy. Maybe she should just wear a green sweater and her MacTire plaid skirt and boots.

She brought them out and laid them next to the red dress on the canopied Victorian replica bed. She stripped out of her slacks and sweater and considered both outfits. It was cold out. Really cold out. And snowy.

She eyed the red dress. She’d never worn it for Peter. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be the wrong choice. She pulled off her bra and put on the red strapless one she’d purchased to wear with the dress. Then she pulled on the dress and struggled to reach the zipper on the low, low back. Darn it. She couldn’t reach it, no matter how hard she tried. She’d only worn the dress once—to a Christmas party two years ago when she and her sisters still lived in St. Augustine, Florida—and she’d forgotten she needed help with the zipper.

Before Peter arrived, she called Laurel. “Hey, I can’t get my zipper zipped. Can either you or Ellie come over and zip it up for me?”

“Ohmigod, you’re wearing the red dress. I’ll be right over. Unless you want Peter to zip it up for you.”

Right. Hurry, before he gets here.” Meghan hated to ask. She knew Laurel would tell Ellie that Meghan was wearing the dress, created to hook a guy for sure. Yes, it was an eye-catcher, but she’d never caught a wolf’s attention while wearing it.

She brought out her red high heels before Laurel arrived. If Peter proposed, she wanted to be dressed for the occasion, though she reminded herself they still had to talk before she could say yes.

Excerpted from Silver Town Wolf: Home for the Holidays by Terry Spear. © 2019 by Terry Spear. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

~*~*~*~

B6273A35-570E-4C89-8B03-254F743240AC

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

5 Copies of Destiny of the Wolf

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

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

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: PUPPY CHRISTMAS by Lucy Gilmore 

B9D4C7C8-AFC4-4F10-9995-775B94B1BB3C

PUPPY CHRISTMAS (Forever Home Series, Book 2) by Lucy Gilmore

Publication Date: September 24, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

6A0CE99D-4993-462A-8006-E5CC9F27FA03These adorable service puppies
are matchmakers in the making…

Lila Vasquez might not be the “fun one” at Puppy Promise—the service puppy training school she runs with her sisters—but she can always be counted on to get things done. So when her latest client shows an interest in princess gowns over power suits, Lila puts aside her scruples, straps on the glittery heels, and gets to work.

If only the adorable six-year-old’s father wasn’t such an appealing Prince Charming.

Ford’s whole life revolves around his daughter…until he meets Lila. Smart, capable, and amazing at helping Emily gain confidence with her new service puppy at her side, Lila is everything he ever wanted—but she’s way out of his league. Good thing Emily and her new pup are up to the matchmaking task. This Christmas, it’s all hands (and paws) on deck!

~*~*~*~

Donna 5 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this light contemporary romance. Sometimes quirky, sometimes solemn, it ticked all my boxes and kept me reading. To Lila, she evolved throughout the story, but to the readers and those around her, she became the loving and fun person she was at the beginning. I liked her from the start and enjoyed her journey. Ford was a likeable single father raising a hearing impaired daughter. His flirting was an emotional shield that crumbled when he met Lila. The immediate attraction between them was believable and a joy watching it grow into a smoking romance. Christmas and the puppies only added to the charm. I now have a new author added to my “must read” list.

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

~*~*~*~

C2CFFB73-FDFF-4ACC-A514-81191CBD535F

Excerpt

“We’re going to the symphony. We’re visiting art galleries and sipping overpriced white wine. Oh, I’ve got it! You’re taking me to the fanciest store in the city and buying me a new dress. I’ll be like Pretty Woman, except you won’t have to pay me for s-e-x later.”
Ford cast a sidelong look at Lila. She’d caught her lower lip between her teeth, but she didn’t look up from the phone in her lap.
“I like to make the first one free to get the ladies hooked,” he explained. “Then I ratchet up the price accordingly.”
That didn’t get her to take the bait, either. “Turn right at the next intersection,” she instructed him. “Parking should be in the big lot on the right. And for the record, I don’t think that’s a very good way to run your gigolo business. Why would the cow pay for milk after the fact?”
“The cow isn’t the one paying for the milk. The cow is the one providing it.” He clucked his tongue and shook his head. “And here I thought you were supposed to be the smart one.”
That got her to glance up, her gaze sharp. “I never said that.”
“No, you didn’t,” he agreed cheerfully as he pulled his minivan into the last of a row of cars. “But that doesn’t make it any less true.”
She had no response to this, which was just as well since they’d arrived at their mystery destination. He had no idea where they were or why, but he didn’t care. The fact that he was on an actual date with Lila was enough.
It wasn’t just any date, either. He’d had to lift nary a finger to make it happen. Apparently, Lila took her role as invitee very seriously. From dropping Emily off at her mom’s house to planning the evening from start to finish, she’d handled everything on her own. All Ford had to do was doll himself up and wait to be whisked away for an evening of romantic bliss.
It was a new experience for him—and a delightful one. Lila was wooing him. Lila was wooing him hard.
He, too, was hard just thinking about it.
Although that wasn’t really fair. He’d been in the same state of agonized anticipation for days. No number of cold showers or hot showers or short, frantic showers with his cock in his hand had helped. Nor had Lila’s constant presence in his home. How she managed to sit with his daughter and Jeeves, cool and collected as she went through the steps of puppy training, was a mystery.
“Here. We’re going to need this.” Lila reached into the pocket of the white wool coat she wore and handed him a flask. “It’s like fifteen degrees outside. It’s straight bourbon, in case you’re wondering.”
“You remembered,” he said as he accepted the flask and took a long pull. “My vice of choice.”
It wasn’t the cheap stuff, either. The woodsy-sweet taste coated his tongue and throat, the warm burn making him feel almost giddy.
“I have my occasional value,” she admitted. “Remembering things in painstaking detail doesn’t make me a very endearing person, but it does make me a useful one.”
He opened his mouth to argue, to tell her that her value lay primarily in her ability to make him feel relaxed and happy and like a hot-blooded man again, but he didn’t have a chance to get the words out before she pulled a white knit cap over her head and secured her gloves onto her hands.
Lila was a stunning woman almost all the time, her poise and grace so ingrained that he doubted she was aware of them, but there was something about the way the cap framed her face that almost undid him. She looked absurdly youthful, her cheeks flushed from the bourbon and the cold and—he hoped—the company.
Unable to help himself, he leaned across the console and dropped a kiss onto her slightly parted lips. Surprise rendered her delightfully malleable, her mouth giving way to his for a full ten seconds before she realized what was happening and kissed him back. That was delightful, too, but for entirely different reasons—most of which had to do with the fact that she wasn’t about to let him have his wicked way with her without giving him his own back again. In fact, that was a thing she’d done since the day they’d first met. He could, on occasion, catch her off guard, but it rarely lasted for long.
She proved it by deepening the kiss. The assault of her tongue and the warm press of her mouth against his invoked every sense he had—taste and smell and glorious touch. She even released a soft moan into his mouth that made his head whir with possibilities.
And then she ended it as quickly as it began.
“Let’s skip the date,” he said before he’d even managed to open his eyes again. “I don’t care if we’re flying to the Eiffel Tower on a private jet run entirely on champagne. Let’s stay in this van and make out instead.”
She didn’t move. “You don’t want to see what I have planned?”
He’d opened his eyes by this time, but the parking lot lighting was dim, and what little vision he did have was obscured by the stars dazzling his vision. Actual g-o-d-d-a-m-n stars.

Excerpted from Puppy Christmas by Lucy Gilmore. © 2019 by Lucy Gilmore. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

3 Copies of Puppy Love

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

Lucy Gilmore is a contemporary romance author with a love of puppies, rainbows, and happily ever afters. She began her reading (and writing) career as an English literature major and ended as a die-hard fan of romance in all forms. When she’s not rolling around with her two Akitas, she can be found hiking, biking, or with her nose buried in a book. Visit her online at http://lucygilmore.com. She lives in the Spokane, WA area.

Author Website: lucygilmore.com

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: A DASH OF CHRISTMAS by Samantha Chase

1C7FE1F9-1D35-48C8-B908-49B7956D0F43

A DASH OF CHRISTMAS (Montgomery Brothers) by Samantha Chase

Publication Date: September 24, 2019 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

0FCF4B7D-33E7-4874-A23C-E6643D942FF8With a dash of Christmas magic…

Two people who have spent most of their lives being rivals…

Learn a little something about following their hearts…

Carter Montgomery broke the family mold when he went to culinary school. Now a successful restauranteur, he’s at a crossroads: should he continue on his successful path or look for a new challenge? What he needs is time alone to think things through. But his matchmaking family has other ideas

Emery Monaghan’s no-good fiancé has embroiled her in scandal and she needs a way out. When mentor Eliza Montgomery offers her a refuge, she’s relieved—until she realizes that the deal means rubbing elbows with Eliza’s son Carter—Emery’s childhood nemesis.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

“Don’t go.”

His voice was raw and it wasn’t hard to tell there was a battle waging within him. Normally, Emery enjoyed watching Carter squirm and struggle, but for some reason seeing him this emotional after a call with his mother affected her in a way she didn’t expect.

She felt compassion for him—a need to comfort him and tell him it was going to be all right.

She made her way toward him. “I think it would be best for everyone if I did. You didn’t deserve to be blindsided like this, and I’m sorry it happened this way. I truly believed you were aware of what was going on and you were coming here specifically to work on the book. I had no idea your trip here had nothing to do with it or that you were so against giving it more attention.”

Carter’s shoulders sagged a little. “At any other time…”

“I know,” she said softly, moving a little closer. “I get it. Hey, there isn’t anything I can do about whatever else you’re dealing with, but on this particular subject, I can. I’ll work with the files you sent your mother and I’ll make it into something closer to what she’s looking for, okay? And in the meantime, I’ll stay out of your way so you can have at least one night’s peace.”

They stood in silence for a long time, and as much as Emery wanted to pack and get out of his way, she couldn’t seem to make herself move. In all the years they had known one another, they had bickered and poked fun at each other and essentially gone out of their own way to make the other miserable. It was what they did. It was comfortable. But right now, she couldn’t think of a single snarky or antagonistic comment.

And that freaked her out.

Swallowing hard, she took a step back. And then another. Next thing she knew, she had spun and was walking back to her bedroom, mildly trembling. She went straight to her closet and pulled out her weekender bag. Knowing she wasn’t going to be going out or doing anything other than vegging in her hotel room, she walked over to her dresser and pulled out a couple of pairs of yoga pants, a few T-shirts, a pair of pajamas, and a pair of shorts and tossed them in the bag. Next, she opened her lingerie drawer and was pulling out a handful of panties when a large male hand closed over hers. Gasping with surprise, she turned and found herself face-to-face with Carter.

While they both held her panties.

Awesome.

Emery wanted to be outraged—or at the very least annoyed that he had invaded her space when she was clearly trying to be the bigger person here, but for some reason she couldn’t seem to make herself speak or react.

What was happening to her?

“This is crazy,” he said, his voice deep and low and borderline hypnotic.

So he felt it, too? This sudden, crazy pull toward one another? The change in the air around them?

“I already said I didn’t want you to go, Em,” he went on and that’s when she realized what he was talking about.

Forcing her gaze away, she carefully pulled her hand and underwear from his. “I think it’s for the best.” Then she moved away, tossing her garments in the weekender bag along with the rest of her clothes. For a few minutes, she busied herself collecting odds and ends—her laptop, her e-reader, her iPod—before going into the bathroom and grabbing her toothbrush, makeup, and brushes. Anything else she needed she’d get from housekeeping. When she walked back out into the bedroom, she found Carter sitting quietly on her bed.

And her weekender bag emptied.

Okay, now she was outraged.

“Seriously, Carter?” she cried. “Why can’t you just let me do this?”

He shrugged. “I already told you. It’s not necessary.”

“To me it is! There’s no reason for me to stay here. And, might I remind you, I’ve been a thorn in your side since we were kids!”

It pleased her that he paled a little at having his words thrown back at him.

“I would think you’d be thankful that I was leaving,” she said, hating the tremor in her voice. “One less thing for you to worry about.”

The curse that flew out of his mouth followed by a huff of annoyance didn’t really surprise her. This was them. This was the relationship they had. And honestly, she preferred this to the strained silence and whatever it was that she was feeling just minutes ago.

Carter stood and walked over until they were toe to toe. “What I said to my mother,” he began and then stopped. “What I mean is, that was said in the heat of the moment and really, it couldn’t have been news to you. I’ve been telling you that to your face since we were twelve.”

“Eleven, but…whatever,” she corrected and smirked when he growled with frustration.

“That! That right there is why I said it! Can’t you just let some things go?”

Me?” she cried. “How about you? I was being the bigger person here! I was putting your feelings first, and where did that get me, huh? I should be in a cab on my way to a hotel with room service, but instead I’m here arguing with you again! Why couldn’t you just let me leave?”

They both instantly fell silent and Emery felt herself holding her breath while she waited for his answer.

“What’s the matter?” she finally asked. “Is it possible the arrogant Carter Montgomery has nothing to say for himself for the first time in his life?”

Yeah, she was taunting him, but…she needed to. Needed things to be like they always were. If she didn’t get them back on solid ground—back on the familiar turf of a lifelong rivalry—she wouldn’t know what to do. For years she’d been aware of Carter as a person. She couldn’t deal with suddenly being aware of him as a man.

When his only response was a slight tick in his jaw, she figured she’d poke the bear a little more. “Did you burn the sauce? Is that why we’re not eating yet? Or maybe you realized all that pretentious crap you bought was no better than grabbing a couple of slices from the pizzeria on the corner.” She noted he seemed to be almost inflating before her eyes—his posture straightened, his shoulders seemed to grow broader…

Go big or go home, right?

Leaning in, she said, “I bet you really don’t know how to make homemade pizza. At least not good homemade pizza.” She let out a devious little laugh. “Probably thought I would be too naive to know the difference. You probably could have served up one of my frozen pizzas and I wouldn’t know the difference.”

He was breaking molars now, no doubt.

“Not that it matters. I’ve got some microwave popcorn I can have for dinner, along with the last brownie. That’s the kind of stuff I can count on—and will probably be a lot more enjoyable.”

This time when Emery tried to move away, Carter’s large hand on her arm stopped her.

She had to hide her smile of satisfaction. “Problem?” she asked innocently.

“You’ve got a real smart mouth, Emery, but you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

“Oh, really? Care to explain?”

But he shook his head. “As a matter of fact, no. I don’t.”

She shrugged. “Fine, whatever. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my dinner awaits.”

“If you so much as think of making popcorn for dinner, I’ll strangle you,” he said, tugging her closer.

When she leaned in until they were nose to nose, she said, “I dare you.”

“Such a smart mouth,” he said right before he claimed it.

Excerpted from A Dash of Christmas by Samantha Chase. © 2019 by Samantha Chase. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
~*~*~*~

E42FDF5E-0A3A-4C44-B5D8-39C2799C51AF

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

 

2 Bundles of The Montgomery Brothers Books 1-4

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.

With twenty-three titles currently to her name, she has no plans to slow down. The success of the Montgomery Brothers series has her working on six new titles in that collection as well as two new exciting series set to start popping up on bookshelves in 2015. You won’t find her books with the erotica or paranormal titles, all of her works are pure contemporary romances.

When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, blogging, playing way too many games of Scrabble on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: NOTHING TO FEAR by Juno Rushdan

A5200111-1F51-4DC1-9FF9-F60E929ABDD1

NOTHING TO FEAR (Final Hour Series, Book 2) by Juno Rushdan

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

8425E875-00E8-47E6-89D1-8C7F285F341DThe clock is ticking.

Fearsome Gray Box operative Gideon Stone is devoted to his work and his team. He’s never given reason to doubt his loyalty…until he’s tasked with investigating Willow Harper, a beguiling cryptologist suspected of selling deadly bio-agents on the black market.

He knows she’s innocent. He knows she’s being framed. And he knows that without him, Willow will be dead before sunrise.

Thrust into the crossfire of an insidious international conspiracy, Gideon will do anything to keep Willow safe…even if that means waging war against his own. With time running out, an unlikely bond pushes limits—and forges loyalties. Every move they make counts. And the real traitor is always watching…

~*~*~*~

9F9D42A3-6581-4C88-9D84-316D12468198

Excerpt

Willow’s car nosedived down a long ramp that mouthed open to three lanes. Vehicles lining the two on the left were stopped at a red light.

She grabbed the wheel and veered toward the empty right lane.

Relief flashed through her. But as quickly as it came, it was gone. Her car had no brakes and was on a collision course with a major intersection of traffic.

Pressure welled in her chest.

Figures. She’d just had the most highly charged experience in her short life with a guy she was crazy attracted to, and now she was going to die. After living a neutral—

Neutral. She shifted from drive to neutral and dragged the tires against the concrete curb. The friction would shave off some speed but not enough. Not while pitched downhill on a trajectory sending her right into traffic with the cruise control jammed at sixty.

She had to avoid causing a domino effect of collisions in the intersection. Cranking the wheel, she plowed over the curb, scraping the undercarriage, and climbed the grassy berm over uneven terrain. Her gaze flickered up to the rearview mirror and to a red Jeep speeding up behind her.

A concrete barricade ahead stole her attention and her breath. She spun the wheel, turning into the main street traffic. Cars squealed, braking. Another skidded and rear-ended a truck.

The Jeep bulldozed up beside her in the left lane, horn honking.

What was she supposed to do? What could she do?

The four-wheel-drive vehicle nosed past her bumper and crashed into her car, forcing her to make a hard right—straight into the parking lot of a grocery store.

A woman yapping on her cell phone while rooting in her purse crossed in front of them. Willow’s chest turned to a block of ice.

The Jeep that had run up beside her tapped her car to the right, engaging her focus.

She steered away from the woman to the side of the building and a vacant part of the lot.

“Willow!”

The sound of her name penetrated her shroud of fear. She looked over through the Jeep’s open passenger-side window.

Gideon.

He signaled to her, punching his hand down and yanking his fist up toward his shoulder. She glanced to her side.

Gear selector? No.

Emergency brake. He wanted her to pull up on the emergency brake.

She gripped the handle and wrenched up. The car whipped into a wild spin. She gasped. Light swirled into a haze of gray. Nausea flooded her in a violent wave. Her body shivered like it wanted to splinter into a hundred pieces.

Pressing her head against the seat, she released the wheel and crossed her arms, hands to her shoulders. The tail of the car crashed into something, shattering the back window. The vehicle rocked, jostling her forward.

Phfowmph!

A dense pillow punched her, throttling her back. A white cloud engulfed everything. The airbag sucked up the space around her. A scream strangled in her throat and died.

Dust and white powder clogged her nose and esophagus. She choked on the remnants of terror.

Her car door swung open. “Willow! You okay?”

A loud pop echoed. Her airbag deflated with a hiss, as if it’d been cut. She drew in a shuddering breath and waved to clear the congesting dust from her face.

Gideon whipped a double-handled knife closed and reached for her.

A whimper slipped from her lips as she cringed, raising her arm. It was all too much—losing the brakes, the sound of metal grating, hitting vehicles. Almost dying. She needed to breathe, gain her bearings, before he touched her.

“I want to help you from the car and make sure you’re okay. I won’t hurt you.” He reached for her slowly. “Okay?”

Shutting her eyes, she clutched the strap of her purse still draped over her and nodded.

He unfastened her seatbelt. One strong arm slipped under her legs, the other curled around her shoulders. He lifted her out the car, tucking her against his large frame.

Particles clung to her nostrils, burned her throat, and filled her lungs. She coughed and raked in a glorious breath of fresh air.

Gideon’s long legs stretched quickly, carrying her to his car. In his powerful arms, warm and solid, a blanket of calm covered her, dampening her chaotic thoughts save one.

She was safe with him.

He opened the passenger’s door and set her inside, but she didn’t want him to let go. Not yet.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

Everything had unraveled in minutes. Trying to slow the car, the parking lot. Gideon helping. She still couldn’t make sense of it.

Gideon crouched in front of Willow and examined her, smoothing his big hands over her face and her hair. He tilted her chin up. “Did you hit your head? You might have a concussion.”

Staring into his wide eyes, now darkened to the bluish gray of a stormy sky in this light, her breathing slowed and her bunched muscles uncoiled. He looked shaken, off beat from his normal steady cadence.

“Willow? Are you all right?”

I’m okay. How bizarre since she’d almost died. “Everything is fuzzy, but I didn’t hit my head. I don’t think I have a concussion.”

“You can get it from whiplash. A doctor should check you.”

Before she voiced objections, a sheriff’s car pulled into the lot, lights flashing, siren muted. Gideon patted her knee and left her side. He spoke to the officer, pointing to her car, waving his hands in the air as if explaining everything that’d happened.

What exactly had happened?

This morning, nothing was wrong with her brakes. She’d had the car checked recently, never pushed the service due date. Yet she’d nearly been killed.

Excerpted from Nothing to Fear by Juno Rushdan. © 2019 by Juno Rushdan. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

3 Copies of Every Last Breath

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

~*~*~*~

About the Author

Juno Rushdan draws from real-life inspiration as a former U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer to craft sizzling romantic thrillers.  Although she is a native New Yorker, wanderlust has taken her across the globe. She’s visited more than twenty different countries and has lived in England and Germany. When she’snot writing, Juno loves spending time with her family. She currently resides in Virginia.

Author Website: www.junorushdan.com

Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: HANDLE WITH CARE by Marie Harte

CF51DEB4-23BD-4B71-8F83-457BDD0283B6

HANDLE WITH CARE (Veteran Movers Series, Book 3) by Marie Harte

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

E223B426-BE6D-4213-B7F8-08387D585BE4Evan Griffith has had a hell of a day…

And that was before he met the stunning, sexy woman having a meltdown.

Evan Griffith has had many careers in his life. But who knew working for his family’s moving company would hold just as much action as his stint in the Marine Corps? On an unforgettable job, Evan finds himself taken by a teenage conman and confronted by a woman wielding a knife—and promptly falls head over heels for her.

Kenzie Sykes is doing her best to raise her little brother and keep him out of jail—all while dealing with her own broken heart that just hasn’t healed. She doesn’t have time for romance. He’s not asking… Until he is, and she finds herself saying yes.

~*~*~*~

Donna 5 Stars

I enjoyed this installment in the Veteran Movers series. Evan’s story lived up to my expectations and then some. Kenzie and her crew were as funny and crazy as Evan’s, fitting both of their lives together like a puzzle. That opening scene was a hoot! Granted Evan could sometimes come across as too good to be true – and Kenzie edged close to my “she’s fighting the relationship too much” line, but neither circumstances made me groan. Another thing I liked about this story, is Kenzie’s younger brother was a part of the budding romance. I loved how Evan not only fell in love with Kenzie but grew to love her brother too. It was natural and never seemed forced. This is a sexy hot romance full of laughter and warm-fuzzies.

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

~*~*~*~

3F8446F3-7285-4F8C-AC7F-55FDA8AD1844

Excerpt

Funny, he’d said. Evan had been set up. Again. Daniel Sykes needed some discipline, something the Corps, or a foot up his butt, might just provide. Then again, should Evan be upset at another opportunity to see Kenzie up close?

Damn, but even angry she turned him on. Yeah, that was it. He wanted her. Physical desire. That he understood. And if he ignored the quickening of his heart and the need to sigh just looking at her, he’d believe his own bullshit. Because falling for a woman he didn’t even know made no sense. And Evan was nothing if not rational.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, biting out each word.

“I’m supposed to meet your brother to discuss financial matters. He had a legitimate question about tax penalties, and since I was already in the area, I told him I’d meet him.”

Kenzie clenched her jaw.

“So he was lying?”

“No. I am having some issues with my books, but I’m not sure why Rachel’s moving guy is qualified to help us.”

Evan smiled. “I’m an accountant. I was, I mean. Well, I still am. I’m just working for myself now.”

“Why?”

“So much suspicion.” He grinned, not telling her how adorable she looked in her pique. Women didn’t like hearing that they were cute when trying to appear serious. “I wasn’t fired for any wrongdoing. I left the firm because I couldn’t handle the hours. But I’m still consulting for them, and I have a few clients staying with me who left Peterman & Campbell Accounting when I did.”

She blinked. “I know that firm. One of my clients uses them. They’re big money.”

“Yep.” Evan wanted to stroke her cheek, to see if she felt as soft as she looked. So he tucked his hands in his pockets.

“What was with lying to Rob about your clients using me? Or me being overbooked?”

He shrugged. “I know Rob. He’s competitive. The thought of him not getting to use your services because you don’t have time for him would annoy the crap out of him. Plus it never hurts to make people think you’re more than you are. Perception is everything, and before you know it, you will be overbooked.”

“Oh.” She gave him a tentative smile. “Thanks.”

“Mind if I grab a coffee and wait with you for your brother? It’s getting crowded in here.”

She nodded, her gaze thoughtful.

Evan picked up a coffee and a few pastries and returned to Kenzie. “How about some sweets as a peace offering? I had no idea I was interrupting a meeting.”

She accepted an apricot Danish. “Thanks. It’s not your fault I couldn’t snare Rob Talon on my own.”

He didn’t know about that. Rob had seemed pretty smitten when Evan had seen the pair sitting together.

“How do you know him anyway?” Kenzie asked.

“I knew his sister from a long time ago. She and I dated briefly in college. Rob is a good guy, and he and I became friends after Kayla and I broke up.”

“Really? Kayla is amazing.”

“She is. But I was the problem.” I was too boring for Kayla. And I really hate that word. “She wanted to see the world, and I had responsibilities.” He sipped his coffee, remembering the past and wondering where the time had gone. “Well, actually she wanted to go to India for some technology conference, and I wanted to go to Miami for a wild spring break. We parted ways after I joined the Marine Corps and she moved to Bangalore.”

“You were a Marine?”

Am a Marine.” He smiled with pride. “You’re never an ex. You become a ‘prior’ or ‘former’ Marine. It’s always with you.” Even though he hadn’t enjoyed many of the aspects of the military, he missed the camaraderie, which explained why he loved working with the gang at Vets on the Go! It felt like a mini-Corps of likeminded individuals.

“So if you don’t mind me asking, why are you moving furniture for a living? Because you burned out doing accounting?” She sounded disbelieving.

He couldn’t blame her. “Actually, I’m a partner in our moving business. My cousins and I own Vets on the Go!, and one of our guys is out due to a broken arm. So I’m helping out until he’s back. But to be honest, it’s been enjoyable using my muscles more than my brains for a while. I got tired working eighty-hour weeks for Peterman & Campbell.”

Her eyes softened. “That makes sense. I love my job, but I get tired too. I worked all weekend in between cleaning my house and running errands.” She sighed. “And today was a bust.”

“Sorry to hear that. I’ll make sure Rob calls you back since I interrupted you.”

“No, please don’t. I can handle my business myself.”

He sensed a little bit of tension there, but he understood the need for independence. “No problem. At least finish the Danish.”

She shoved half the pastry in her mouth and grinned at him. “Happy now?” she asked, her mouth full, and he laughed.

“You know, I can see where your brother gets that attitude.”

She managed to swallow the ball of dough and groaned. “Now I should be apologizing to you. I can’t believe he tricked you into coming here.”

“So you’re not having a problem with your taxes?”

“Yes, but—” The buzz of her phone interrupted her. She read a text and blinked. “Daniel just told me he’s on his way here to meet with you and not to be freaked out if I see you because you’re not stalking me, you’re doing him a favor.”

“Wow. He texted all that?”

“Mostly in abbreviations and emojis, but I understand teen-speak.”

Evan laughed. “Better you than me. I couldn’t even figure out how to change my name back.”

“What did he change your name to?”

“Well, my ringtone became ‘Dancing Queen.’ And my name became Sexy Moving Man with a Fine Ass.”

She couldn’t stifle her mirth, and he saw it.

Excerpted from Handle With Care by Marie Harte. © 2019 by Marie Harte. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

3 Copies of Smooth Moves

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

Award-winning author Marie Harte has been writing professionally since 2005. She’s both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and character.

She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks and Samhain. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense.

Before turning to writing full-time, she earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and spent several years in the United States Marine Corps as a communications officer.

Marie currently lives in Central Oregon with her family. There’s nothing she likes more than finding a good book to read and a great cup of coffee to drink.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: I’VE GOT YOU, BABE by Lynnette Austin

F55AD7B0-AEF6-4C44-A720-23EDB8419475

I’VE GOT YOU, BABE (Must Love Babies Book 2) by Lynnette Austin

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

4812203B-F7B5-4052-B867-0D5A5ABEE122Where do you go when you’re at the end of your rope

Former Marine Tucker Wylder wants nothing more than to work with his brothers in their vintage car restoration business and be left alone with his nightmares and regrets. The last thing he needs is to take on someone else’s troubles…

Then Elisa Danvers and her young daughter arrive in Misty Bottoms, Georgia. Elisa has reached the end of the line—flat broke, engine trouble, sick in body and spirit. Tucker steps up to the rescue and finds himself reluctantly taking care of a feisty preschooler and her independent mother, who doesn’t seem to want his help. And Tucker isn’t sure he’s ready for the way precocious little Daisy and headstrong, beautiful Elisa herself capture first his bachelor household and finally his carefully guarded heart…

~*~*~*~

5079674A-1A7D-454B-8A66-A83A5CA66B30

Excerpt

A cup of hot, black coffee in hand and a well-earned—and desperately needed—weekend fishing trip on his mind, Tucker unlocked the front door of Wylder Rides. The smell of oil and new tires welcomed him like an old friend. He liked the peace and quiet of the early morning, the solitude before his brothers arrived.

When a breeze drifted in through the open bay door, he thanked the stars the calendar had finally flipped to October. This summer, his first in Misty Bottoms, Georgia, had been hotter than Hades. With the onslaught of autumn, though, temperatures had dipped to a less humid mid-seventies.

Still, even the Georgia low-country summer had been a hell of a sight better than the sweltering heat he’d suffered during his Middle East deployment. There the July temperatures hovered above the hundred-degree mark. Add in the blistering sun, and the place could turn a man’s hide to shoe leather in no time.Don’t even get him started on the never-ending sand that found its way into every crack and crevice on the human body and scoured exposed skin raw.

A tough place to live. A worse place to die.

Involuntarily, his hands clenched into fists. Taking a deep breath, he relaxed them. Not today. He dropped to the creeper, slid partially beneath the ’Vette, and got busy replacing the brake lines.

Southern rock blasted from his stereo. Over the magic of Charlie Daniel’s fiddle, Tucker heard a car slow, then pull in out front. Its muffler was shot. The engine knocked, coughed and sputtered, then shut down with a rattle.

Seconds later, a totally different sound caught his attention—high heels on the garage’s concrete floor. Tucker slid a sidelong glance toward the front of the bay and almost swallowed his tongue. Framed in the narrow window between the floor and the car’s bumper were a pair of legs that would have any red-blooded man drooling…and they crossed slowly toward him. Laying the wrench on the floor beside him, he gave a push with his foot and slid the creeper from beneath the car.

Flat on his back, he let his gaze travel up over a body that matched the legs beat for beat, then on to a face only angels could have created. The heart-shaped face, with its sensuous lips and the biggest, bluest eyes he’d ever seen, sent a shockwave rocketing through him. Long, pale blond hair had been caughtback in a ponytail.

An illusion? Maybe he’d breathed too many gas fumes and was hallucinating?

Nope. This woman was real and, from the expression on that stunning face, in trouble.

“My car—” She waved a hand toward the front of the building.

“Could use some work,” Tucker finished, slowly getting to his feet. Wiping his hands on a grease rag, he moved toward her. “Look, we’re not a repair shop, but I can probably figure out what’s wrong. If it’s minor—”

She swayed and reached out toward the wall.

“You okay?” Even as Tucker spoke, he saw those mind-blowing eyes go blank. Dark lashes fanned her cheeks.

With a muttered curse, he lunged, barely reaching her before she hit the floor. Heart racing, he held her against him and swore again. Out cold.

“Hey, can you hear me?” He tapped her cheek but got no response. “Wake up.”

Sweat broke out on his brow. Where were his brothers? They should be here by now. What was he supposed to do with an unconscious woman? He leaned his head close to hers, relief flooding him when her breath whispered against his cheek.

A high-pitched wail split the air. Panicked, his head whipped up, and he glanced toward the beater parked out front. The driver’s side door hung open; in the back, strapped into a child’s seat, sat a little girl with her mama’s pale blond hair—a little girl winding up for one hell of a crying jag.

And the day just got better!

He shook the limp woman gently, noticed the sheen of perspiration on her face. “Come on, sugar. For God’s sake, open those baby blues.”

She didn’t.

Kneeling and taking the woman down with him, he spread an old garage blanket and laid her carefully on it, straightening the short skirt of her flower-print dress.

With his forearm, he swiped the sweat from his brow. “Hey, wake up.”

She didn’t.

Okay. Time to tackle the second half of this double-feature horror show.

Edging toward the used-up Ford Escort and its young occupant in much the same way he’d approach a suspected sniper’s nest, he pulled out his phone and hit 911.

The sheriff answered on the first ring. “Misty Bottoms Police Department. What can I do ya?”

“Jimmy Don, it’s Tuck Wylder. I’m out at my shop.” Opening the sedan’s back door, he stared at the young child, at her tear-covered face and runny nose. He’d guess her to be maybe two or three years old. An opened bag of pretzels lay on the seat. Leaning in, he grabbed one and handed it to her. She raised it to her mouth and chewed, her cries dying to quiet whimpers.

Thank you, Jesus.

“Tuck? What’s goin’ on?” the sheriff demanded.

“A woman pulled up in front of our place, and, well, she’s passed out.”

“Been drinkin’?”

“I don’t think so, but she’s hot.”

“I don’t care how good lookin’ she is.”

“No, Jimmy Don. Not hot hot, hot! As in sweating.”

“Well, why didn’t you say so?”

“I did!” Who’s on first? he thought.

“Do I hear a kid?”

Exasperated, Tucker raked fingers through his short hair, his gaze travelling over the woman. She still hadn’t moved. What a friggin’ mess!

“Yeah, you do. She came with the woman who’s passed out on my garage floor.”

“She okay?”

Tucker raised his eyes to the heavens and rubbed at his forehead. “Which one?”

“The kid.”

“How would I know? Nothing wrong with her lungs, I can tell you that.” The nagging beginning of a headache bloomed into a full-fledged whopper.

“You need an ambulance or you gonna take the gal in to see Doc Hawkins?”

“What?” Tucker pulled the cell away to stare at it. Bringing it back to his ear, he asked, “Are you serious, Jimmy Don? You want me to pick up an unconscious stranger, toss her in my car, along with the baby, and drive them into town?”

“So I guess you want me to send the town’s ambulance out there.”

“Bingo.”

Excerpted from I’ve Got You, Babe by Lynnette Austin. © 2019 by Lynnette Austin. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

5 Copies of Must Love Babies

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

 

About the Author

LYNNETTE AUSTIN gave up the classroom to write full time. An author of eight novels, she has been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Blairsville, GA.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter