Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE WALLFLOWER WAGER by Tessa Dare

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THE WALLFLOWER WAGER: Girl Meets Duke Series Book 3 by Tessa Dare

Publication Date: August 13, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

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89E87107-6DB1-491D-8938-A02923A1F82AThey call him the Duke of Ruin. To an undaunted wallflower, he’s just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

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Excerpt

She circled back, standing before him. “There now. Better?”

He gave a reluctant nod.

“Can you move your arm in all directions?”

He rolled his shoulder to prove it. “Yes.”

“What about your grip?

“My grip is strong.”

“Perhaps I should wrap the arm in a sling.”

“I do not need a sling.”

“Wait here. I’ll dash upstairs to fetch some linen and—”

“For the love of God, woman. My shoulder is fine.” He took her by the waist and lifted her straight off the floor, until they were eye to eye. “There. Believe me now?”

She nodded, wide-eyed.

“Good.”

In his hands, she was delicate, breakable. Her hair was a golden treasure he should never, ever touch. And oh, how he hungered for those soft, pink lips.

The familiar voice echoed in his ears.

Don’t touch, boy. She’s not for the likes of you.

Put. Her. Down.

But before Gabe could lower those beribboned pink slippers to the floor, she captured his sooty, sweaty face in her hands—

And kissed him on the lips.

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Cori 4 Stars

This book was so much fun! I loved all the rescue animals Penny had. Penny and Gabriel’s story had all the hot romance, the emotion and the fun the animals brought to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. THE WALLFLOWER WAGER is the third book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke Series and each book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend this series for romance lovers looking for a historical romance series with some laughs, great characters and feel good love stories.

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

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Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy of THE WALLFLOWER WAGER: Girl Meets Duke by Tessa Dare

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

Winner will be selected Monday (8/26) by 6PM EST. Paperback provided by Avon.

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5EF0B3E0-E85F-4191-A769-504BD0D64088Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty historical romances. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: BRAZEN AND THE BEAST by Sarah MacLean

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BRAZEN AND THE BEAST: The Bareknuckle Bastards Series Book 2 by Sarah MacLean

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

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68BA980F-A739-41E2-8659-930CA10CFA44New York Times Bestselling Author Sarah MacLean returns with the next book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series about three brothers bound by a secret that they cannot escape—and the women who bring them to their knees.

The Lady’s Plan

When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.

The Bastard’s Proposal

When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.

An Unexpected Passion

Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.

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Excerpt

Chapter One

September 1837
Mayfair

In twenty-eight years and three hundred sixty-four days, Lady Henrietta Sedley liked to think that she’d learned a few things.
She’d learned, for example, that if a lady could not get away with wearing trousers (an unfortunate reality for the daughter of an earl, even one who had begun life without title or fortune), then she should absolutely ensure that her skirts included pockets. A woman never knew when she might require a bit of rope, or a knife to cut it, after all.
She’d also learned that any decent escape from her Mayfair home required the cover of darkness and a carriage driven by an ally. Coachmen tended to talk a fine game when it came to keeping secrets, but were ultimately beholden to those who paid their salaries. An important addendum to that particular lesson was this: The best of allies was often the best of friends.
And perhaps first on the list of things she had learned in her lifetime was how to tie a Bosun knot. She’d been able to do that for as long as she could remember.
With such an obscure and uncommon collection of knowledge, one might imagine that Henrietta Sedley would have known precisely what to do in the likelihood she discovered a human male bound and unconscious in her carriage.
One would be incorrect.
In point of fact, Henrietta Sedley would never have described such a scenario as a likelihood. After all, she might have been more comfortable on London’s docks than in its ballrooms, but Hattie’s impressive collection of life experience lacked anything close to a criminal element.
And yet, here she was, pockets full, dearest friend at her side, standing in the pitch dark on the night before her twenty-ninth birthday, about to steal away from Mayfair for a night of best-laid plans, and…
Lady Eleanora Madewell whistled, low and unladylike at Hattie’s ear. Daughter of a duke and the Irish actress he loved so much he’d made her a duchess, Nora had the kind of brashness that was allowed in those with impervious titles and scads of money. “There’s a bloke in the gig, Hattie.”
Hattie did not look away from the bloke in question. “Yes, I see that.”
“There wasn’t a bloke in the gig when we hitched the horses.”
“No, there wasn’t.” They’d left the hitched—and most definitely empty—carriage in the dark rear drive of Sedley House not three-quarters of an hour earlier, before hiking upstairs to exchange carriage-hitching dresses for attire more appropriate for their evening plans.
At some point between corset and kohl, someone had left her an extraordinarily unwelcome package.
“Seems we would’ve noticed a bloke in the gig,”
“I should think we would have,” came Hattie’s distracted reply. “This is really just awful timing.”
Nora cut her a look. “Is there a good time for a man to be bound in one’s carriage?”
Hattie imagined there wasn’t, but, “He could have selected a different evening. What a terrible birthday gift.” She squinted into the dark interior of the carriage. “Do you think he’s dead?”
Please, don’t let him be dead.
Silence. Then, a thoughtful, “Does one store dead men in carriages?” Nora reached forward, her coachman’s coat pulling tight over her shoulders, and poked the dead man in question. He did not move. “He’s not moving,” she added. “Could be dead.”
Hattie sighed, removing a glove and leaning into the carriage to place two fingers to the man’s neck. “I’m sure he’s not dead.”
“What are you doing?” Nora whispered, urgently. “If he’s not dead, you’ll wake him!”
“That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” Hattie pointed out. “Then we could ask him to kindly exit our conveyance and we could be on our way.”
“Oh, yes. This brute seems like precisely the kind of man who would immediately do just that and not immediately take his revenge. He’d no doubt doff his cap and wish us a fine good evening.”
“He’s not wearing a cap,” Hattie pointed out, unable to refute any of the rest of the assessment of the mysterious, possibly dead man. He was very broad, and very solid, and even in the darkness she could tell that this wasn’t a man with whom one took a turn about a ballroom.
This was the kind of man who ransacked a ballroom.
“What do you feel?” Nora pressed.
“No pulse.” Though she wasn’t precisely certain of the location one would find a pulse. “But he’s—”
Warm.
Dead men were not warm, and this man was very warm. Like a fire in winter. The kind of warm that made someone realize how cold she might be.
Ignoring the silly thought, Hattie moved her fingers down the column of his neck, to the place where it disappeared beneath the collar of his shirt, where the curve of his shoulder and the slope of…the rest of him… met in a fascinating indentation.
“Anything now?”
“Quiet.” Hattie held her breath. Nothing. She shook her head.
“Christ.” It wasn’t a prayer.
Hattie couldn’t have agreed more. But then…
There. A small flutter. She pressed a touch more firmly. The flutter became firm. Slow. Even. “I feel it. She said. “He’s alive.” She repeated herself. “He’s alive.” She exhaled, long and relieved. “He’s not dead.”
“Excellent. But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s unconscious in the carriage, and you have somewhere to be.” She paused. “We should leave him and take the curricle.”
Hattie had been planning for this particular excursion on this particular night for a full three months. This was the night that would begin her twenty-ninth year. The year her life would become her own. The year she would become her own. And she had a very specific plan for a very specific location at a very specific hour, for which she had donned a very specific frock. And yet, as she stared at the man in her carriage, specifics seemed not at all important.
What seemed important was seeing his face.
Clinging to the handle at the edge of the door, Hattie collected the lantern from the upper rear corner of the carriage before swinging back out to face Nora, whose gaze flickered immediately to the unlit container.
Nora tilted her head. “Hattie. Leave him. Let’s take the curricle.”
“Just a peek,” Hattie replied.
The tilt became a shake. “If you peek, you’ll regret it.”
“I have to peek,” Hattie insisted, casting about for a decent reason—ignoring the odd fact that she was unable to tell her friend the truth. “I have to untie him.”
“Not necessarily,” Nora pointed out. “Someone thought he was best left tied up, and who are we to disagree?” Hattie was already reaching into the pocket of the carriage door for a flint. “What of your plans?”
There was plenty of time for her plans. “Just a peek,” she repeated, the oil in the lantern catching fire. She closed the door and turned to face the carriage, lifting the light high, casting a lovely golden glow over—
“Oh, my,” she said.
Nora choked back a laugh. “Not such a bad gift after all, perhaps.”
The man had the most beautiful face Hattie had ever seen. The most beautiful face anyone had ever seen, she imagined. She leaned closer, taking in his warm, bronze skin, the high cheekbones, the long, straight nose, the dark slashes of his brows and the impossibly long lashes that lay like feathers against his cheeks.
“What kind of man…” she trailed off. Shook her head.
What kind of man looked like this?
What kind of man looked like this and somehow landed in the carriage of Hattie

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Cori 5 Stars

I loved this book! I thoroughly enjoyed BRAZEN AND THE BEAST from the first page to the last. It is the second book in Sarah Maclean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series and each book in the series is a stand-alone. I went back and read the first book after reading this one though because I loved it so much. Hattie and Whit’s story was full of passion, emotion, danger and fun. Hattie is a strong and intelligent heroine with goals and Whit does everything to give her her dreams. This author is now on my must read list and this book will be on my favorites list this year. I highly recommend this series for historical romance lovers and I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

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

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Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy of BRAZEN AND THE BEAST by Sarah MacLean

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

Winner will be selected Monday (8/12) by 6PM EST. Paperback provided by Avon.

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BB2DD64A-F99B-441A-9DC7-AF31332ACFF7A life-long romance reader, Sarah MacLean wrote her first romance novel on a dare, and never looked back. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical romances and a columnist for The Washington Post, where she writes about the romance genre. She lives in New York City. Visit her at www.sarahmaclean.net.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: LAST CHANCE RODEO by Kari Lynn Dell

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LAST CHANCE RODEO: A Blackfeet Nation Novel by Kari Lynn Dell

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Genre: Western/ Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

7B303109-004B-411F-86BF-CDE79F32B6D1He came to Blackfeet Nation looking for his missing horse

And found the heart he’d lost along the way.

One thoughtless moment cost David Parsons everything—his irreplaceable horse, his rodeo career, and his fiancée. After four long years he’s finally tracked his horse to the Blackfeet Reservation and is ready to reclaim his pride.

It should be the happiest day of his life. But the troubled young boy who’s riding Muddy now has had more than his fair share of hard knocks, and his fierce guardian, Mary Steele, will do whatever it takes to make sure losing this horse isn’t the blow that levels him. David finds himself drawn to both woman and child, and is faced with a soul-wrenching dilemma: take his lost shot at rodeo glory…or claim what could be his last chance to make his shattered heart whole?

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Excerpt

When David Parsons rode into the arena in Cody, Wyoming, he knew in his gut he’d ride out a winner. He was on that kind of roll. He’d drawn the right calf and, Lord knew, he was riding the right horse.

Muddy rooted his nose, pushing into the bit as David turned him around in the roping box. When David tugged on the reins, Muddy kicked up his hind feet, revving his engine like a drag racer burning his tires, a quirk he’d developed as a colt and never outgrown. Then he jammed his butt into the corner of the box, ears forward, every molecule of his body cocked and ready.

David kept a tight hold on the reins, his attention zeroing in on the calf. Head’s turned. Wait. Wait. Make sure he’s standing square. Let him take the first step.

The instant the calf looked forward, David nodded. The gate banged open. David’s rein hand barely twitched and Muddy exploded from the box, the start perfectly timed. The loop sliced through the night air. One, two, three swings, and throw. Zap! Clean around the calf’s neck. David felt the sizzle of the rope dragging through the hondo as he pulled his slack.

Muddy’s stop was like slamming into a brick wall on a motorcycle. Wham! Sixty to zero in a single stride. David swung out in the right stirrup and let the momentum launch him down the rope, so fast he was standing at the calf’s head as it spun around, still on its feet.

Muddy scrambled backward, pulling the calf into David’s lap. He flipped it onto its side, had the loop of his piggin’ string snugged tight around the front leg before the calf hit the ground. He scooped up the back legs, crossed them over the front, took one, two wraps and a half hitch, and threw up his hands to signal for time.

David hustled back to his horse, vaulted into the saddle and rode Muddy forward a few steps to put slack in the rope, adrenaline pounding through his veins as applause washed over them. Muddy bobbed his head, acknowledging the ovation.

“Seven point three seconds!” the rodeo announcer shouted. “Ladies and gentlemen, there is your tie-down roping champion!”

A committee member caught David at the gate as he rode out. “We need you behind the bucking chutes for the television interview.”

“Give me a minute to tie my horse up.” He swung off and wove through a gauntlet of backslaps and congratulations to a spot along the fence behind. Muddy flattened his ears at the next horse in line.

“You’re not big enough to win that fight,” David said. He reached up to give Muddy a scratch for a job well done.

Muddy jerked his head away, pinning his ears again. David laughed. “Cranky little bastard. Good thing we don’t get paid for your personality. Or your looks.”

Muddy shot him a look that was the equine equivalent of a middle finger. David laughed again, flipped the reins around the fence rail, and patted Muddy on the butt as he left, just to annoy him.

When the interview was over, David made his escape into the milling crowd.

“Hey, hotshot!” a voice called. “You too cool to hang with us losers now?”

He looked over to see a trio of cowboys lounging against the fence and sipping beers. Losers. Hah. Between the three of them, they owned enough gold buckles to pave the road to Oz.

One waved an empty cup. “You’ve been takin’ my money all year, least you could do is buy an old man a brew.”

David hesitated, then angled over to join them. Muddy would be okay for a few more minutes. He fetched four fresh beers and took a deep draw off his while the others exchanged opinions and jibes, and David basked in the knowledge that he’d been accepted by this most exclusive club as, if not their equal, at least a worthy contender.

Then the arena lights went out and one of his companions drawled, “Oh goody. Fireworks.”

Oh shit. David whipped around. “I gotta go.”

He moved as fast as the dim lights allowed. Dammit. It was the Fourth of July. How could he have forgotten the fireworks? Muddy went ballistic at the first sign of the big overhead boomers.

The grandstand had started to clear, and people strolled toward their cars, clogging David’s path. The first rocket burst overhead before he fought his way clear. He rounded the last turn and swore. The spot where Muddy had been tied was empty.

Eighteen hours later, David slumped onto the fender of his horse trailer. Exhaustion crashed down on him as he faced the awful truth. Muddy was gone, and he had no one to blame but himself.

Excerpted from Last Chance Rodeo by Kari Lynn Dell. © 2017, 2019 by Kari Lynn Dell. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

KindleAmazon Paperback

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Giveaway

5 Copies of Fearless in Texas

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Kari Lynn Dell is a ranch-raised Montana cowgirl who attended her first rodeo at two weeks old and has existed in a state of horse-induced poverty ever since. She lives on the Blackfeet Reservation in her parents’ bunkhouse along with her husband, her son, and Max the Cowdog, with a tipi on her lawn, Glacier National Park on her doorstep and Canada within spitting distance. Her debut novel, The Long Ride Home, was published in 2015. She also writes a ranch and rodeo humor column for several regional newspapers and a national agricultural publication.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: A SEAL NEVER QUITS (Texas Navy SEALs) by Holly Castillo

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A SEAL NEVER QUITS (Texas Navy SEALs Book 1) by Holly Castillo

Publication Date: July 30, 2019 

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

AA583A8F-9363-486F-917A-A110B2E6547CFirst in a thrilling romantic suspense series featuring a band of do-or-die Navy SEALs in Texas

A SEAL is ready for anything…except losing his heart…

Lieutenant Amador “Stryker” Salas and his tight-knit Navy SEAL team are undercover on a Texas ranch and tasked with covert ops across the border. It’s an assignment that requires all their skills, all their secrets, and all their know-how.

Anya Gutierrez, the local veterinarian, has been serving the ranch for years. She loves the animals and ranching life, and Stryker finds her a breath of fresh air in his otherwise rigidly disciplined existence.

When Anya gets caught in the crosshairs of a mission gone sideways, Stryker must tell her the truth about who he really is, risking everything to keep her out of harm’s way, even if it destroys him…

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Donna 4 stars

I loved the premise of a Special-Ops team setting up shop on a sprawling ranch with an ongoing antagonist hiding behind every bush. I did find that six handsome alpha males doing this in a small town close to the bad guys, with no believable story, and money to burn on said ranch…unbelievable and asking for trouble. However, I liked all the guys and their group dynamic. Stryker was believable and thankfully he didn’t dwell on the “I’m not good enough for her” too much. Anya was also believable and had an inner strength that moved the story along. Their romance was hot and moved along the storyline quite well. The bad guys were a little stereotypical, but fun to read and guess about who is pulling their strings. I found this book to be a fun and exciting read – making me anxious to see where the series goes from here.

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

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Excerpt

She had just lifted her hand for the doorbell when the door was yanked open by a man who could have been Stryker’s brother. His skin was lighter, and while Stryker’s hair had a slight wave to it, this man’s hair was straight and cropped rather short. He was tall, and, in his simple T-shirt and jeans, his muscles were obvious. He looked at her, then smiled, though it seemed it wasn’t something he was used to doing.

“You must be the veterinarian,” he said, and held the door open a little farther. “Come in.”

A wave of cool, air-conditioned air welcomed her into the foyer, and her eyes drank in the beautiful architecture and design of the house. She couldn’t see anything that reminded her of the previous house. It was as if the entire place had been gutted, and they had started over.

“My name’s Phantom, by the way,” her door greeter said, extending his hand to her.

She smiled up at him as she shook his hand. “I’m Anya Gutierrez. Are you—do you live here now too?”

He nodded. “I’m here, along with Stryker and four other men. Buzz is the newbie to the ranching world, so if you see a guy who looks totally out of place, that’s him.”

Anya grinned at him. “I’m sure you’re going to educate him just fine.”

A sly smile crept across Phantom’s face, and Anya suddenly felt very sorry for Buzz. “Oh, yeah. Buzz is in good hands.”

The sound of boots on the hardwood floors came from somewhere within the house, and Stryker suddenly rounded the corner and faced both of them. He eyed Phantom for a moment, then turned his full attention on Anya. “Are you ready to go?”

He was dressed in a navy-blue button-down shirt and a pair of jeans that fit him perfectly. Anya felt like asking him to turn around so she could get the full picture. Good grief, this man is turning my mind to mush. She felt the heat of a blush burning her face. “Y-yes,” she stammered. “I’m ready to go.”

“Be back later,” he tossed over his shoulder to Phantom, as he opened the door and placed his hand at the small of Anya’s back, guiding her out the door in front of him.

The feel of his hand through the cotton of her polo shirt sent a small thrill through her. She had to remind herself to breathe as he escorted her to his F-250, which already had the gooseneck trailer attached to it. It was a big trailer, and she knew they’d be able to bring home at least ten or more calves. It would be a good addition to his current cattle, especially since he had about twenty-five head that were ready to be auctioned off to make room for some heartier heifers.

The ride to Kingsville was punctuated by the sounds of the latest country music coming through the radio. Anya had come prepared for the drive with her ledger and a stack of invoices she needed to record before mailing them out. Stryker had taken one look at her paperwork, raised an eyebrow, and then returned his eyes to the road.

They hadn’t talked since the first day she had met him, and only briefly when she had called to tell him about this sale. She’d hesitated even to call him, but she’d made a commitment. She hadn’t expected him to say yes.

They pulled up to the sale arena where the Kleberg-KenedyCounty Junior Livestock Show was held every winter, and Anya remembered with fondness her years showing cattle and goats and even some turkeys. She had won the title of County Stock Show Queen when she was sixteen, and then had gone on to win the County Rodeo Queen when she was seventeen. She still had her tiaras and sashes.

“What on earth has put that look on your face?” Stryker asked. She realized at that moment they’d parked and she was still sitting in the truck with a goofy look on her face.

“Dreams,” she replied with a smile. “Haven’t you heard of them before, Stryker?”

Her quip at his expense seemed to take him by surprise. He shook his head at her, then left the truck. “Well, you’re about as much fun as getting a root canal,” Anya said to herself, before her door was yanked open and Stryker stood looking up at her impatiently.

She hopped down from the truck and instantly had to scramble to get her feet set right underneath her on the muddy ground. Suddenly Stryker’s muscular arm snaked around her waist, and he pulled her to him, holding her tight.

She was hit with the scent of his spicy cologne, leather, and man—pure, hearty man—and her hands immediately pressed against the front of his shirt as her feet settled beneath her. Buther mind and body were far from settled.

He leaned down and the feeling of his lips brushing lightly against her ear caused her heart to thunder so hard, she was afraid it would beat out of her chest. “Just for your information, I can be far more fun than a root canal…You just have to know what to ask for.”

Excerpted from A SEAL Never Quits by Holly Castillo. © 2019 by Holly Castillo. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Giveaway

3 Copies of A SEAL Never Quits

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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About the Author

Holly Castillo lives on an80 acre ranch, surrounded by cattle during the day and hearing the howl of coyotes by night. She has endless inspiration for her writing. Holly’s romantic suspense series about heroic Navy SEALs is set in her own backyard of south Texas. She lives with her husband and two children just south of San Antonio. Visit her online at hollycastillo.com/.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: ONE FINE DUKE: School for Dukes by Lenora Bell

 

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ONE FINE DUKE: School for Dukes by Lenora Bell

Publication Date: July 23, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

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CEA8075E-D175-45AD-ABEC-D4245BAB62A0USA Today bestselling author Lenora Bell returns with her third book in the sexy School for Dukes series.

Ready.

Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny’s dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There’s only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe’s brother Drew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon.

Aim.

This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost.

Desire!

But Mina is no damsel in distress. She’s daring, intuitive, passionate…and halfway to melting Drew’s cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?

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Excerpt

“There he is, Wilhelmina,” Grizzy whispered, staring reverently across the crowded ballroom. “The Duke of Thorndon.”
Holy hell he’s handsome, thought Mina.
Jaw-dropping-on-the-floor handsome. Drool-on-your-lace-fichu handsome.
Distract her from her plan with his brother, handsome.
Her uncle had been right. Thorndon was a fine figure of a man. Objectively speaking, the finest she’d ever beheld.
Tall as a doorframe, with a face hewn from the same granite as the rugged Cornish coastline.
A face rendered seductive by contrasts: sharp cheekbones and curved, sensuous lips. Gleaming ebony hair brushed his collar. His eyes were a light, gold-tinged brown—the only warm thing about him.
He owned this ballroom. Literally. And he owned everyone in it by dint of his oversized presence and the cold, unsmiling arrogance scrawled across his face.
He didn’t even follow the dictates of fashion, preferring plain black attire to the white pantaloons and gaily-colored waistcoats of the other gentlemen.
Why should he follow the dictates of fashion? Everyone should follow him.
“When you’re introduced to Thorndon, pray speak as seldom as possible,” Grizzy whispered. “Attempt to appear biddable and do try to recall my decorum lessons. Remember, no one in London knows anything about you, thank the Lord.”
Mina had seen several polished, elegant young ladies staring at her, nudging each other and whispering. She was an outsider, a usurper, her proper place in the social hierarchy not yet established.
They needn’t worry. She had no designs upon their prize duke. And she was about as unpolished as a debutante could be—as rough as an un-sanded plank. If anyone touched her they might get splinters.
She longed to shed her country skin swiftly and emerge as the sophisticated social butterfly her mother had been. But she knew that it would take time, observation, and experimentation.
Her first flirtatious conversation, first kiss, first taste of brandy, first adventure…it was all ahead of her.
She couldn’t wait to taste it all.

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Kindle | Paperback

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy of ONE FINE DUKE: School for Dukes by Lenora Bell

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

Winner will be selected Monday (7/29) by 6PM EST. Paperback provided by Avon.

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5AA538BB-8E3C-4C7E-AB0B-5A6732793E72Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. A teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing, Lenora has lived and worked on five continents. She currently lives in New Zealand with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. She loves hearing from readers! Sign up for her mailing list to hear about new books, sales, and giveaways.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Spotlight, Review & Excerpt: COWBOY IN WOLF’S CLOTHING by Kait Ballenger

 

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COWBOY IN WOLF’S CLOTHING (Seven Range Shifters Book 2) by Kait Ballenger

Publication Date: June 25, 2019 

Genre: Paranormal Romance 

Synopsis

288462FD-6BB0-4BB8-8072-604724CB9CBCBorn a cowboy and bred a warrior…

High Commander Colt Cavanaugh has spent his life defending his pack and its sprawling ranchlands. But the hardened Grey Wolf soldier has a dark secret that could destroy his life forever.

Belle Beaumont is a wanted woman, on the run from the wolf pack that kidnapped her. When fate brings her face-to-face with the Grey Wolf High Commander himself, rivalry becomes passion, and suddenly more than just her freedom is at stake.

Colt will fight to the death for the healing Belle brings to his battle-worn heart—and for this cowboy wolf, all’s fair in love and war…

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Donna 5 Stars

This is a great follow-up to Cowboy Wolf Trouble, showing that this series will be fun to read. The trouble started immediately and spread throughout the book at the perfect pace. The drama wasn’t only from the vampires, but also from Colt and Belle themselves. Colt is the standoffish soldier and Belle, the skittish rogue with hidden mettle. They’re both dealing with their pasts and trying to move forward, thus giving them a nice depth of character. Their relationship built from instant attraction, to hot and spicy romance, to love. All this bound together with the pack camaraderie and the message that DNA isn’t the only thing that makes a family. I can’t wait for book 3 in this series.

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

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Excerpt

“Good,” he said. “That leaves us time to discuss another negotiation.”

She raised a brow, pushed herself to standing, and crossed the clearing to return the spare adhesive and gauze to his saddlebag. “And what would that be?”

As she faced toward him again, a wicked grin crossed his lips. “The night we’re going to spend together.”

“Excuse me?”

He’d surprised her when he’d let slip that he wanted to protect her. Help her. But…Belle couldn’t have heard him correctly, could she?

“I want to make it clear that our prior agreements still stand, and they have no relation to your decision. Regardless of my position, you have a choice, of course.”

Maybe she had heard him correctly. He couldn’t possibly be serious. She gaped at him. Yes, there was heat between them. Tension. She sensed it too. But she wasn’t about to admit that. Definitely not to him. She couldn’t risk another relationship with an alpha wolf—no matter how attractive and brave he might be, or how tempting the offer. No matter how much she wanted to see that softer side of him again.

No. She needed to nip this in the bud before it got out of hand.

She settled on being saucy. It worked with him, and that seemed to be the only way they could converse without her simultaneously wanting to pull her hair out and feeling weak in the knees whenever he looked at her. “Do you often try to piss off women who saved your life?”

“Only when I’ve already seen them naked.”

She knew he was teasing, but still she forced a snarl.

Those intense gray eyes locked on to her, causing her stomach to fill with traitorous butterflies. “Is that what I do you to, Belle? Piss you off?”

The question was so to-the-point that it caught her off guard. She wasn’t certain she could define how he made her feel. Yes, there was frustration, but there was also something…more. Something complicated.

At her lack of response, he smirked. “I didn’t think so.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

He shrugged. “Only that you wear your emotions on your sleeve. You can glare and pucker those full pink lips at me like you’ve tasted something sour all you want, Belle, but your eyes give you away.”

She raised a brow. “Oh really? And what do they say?”

His gaze locked with hers. “They say that our verbal sparring doesn’t really piss you off at all. In fact, I’d go so far as to say you not only like it, you crave it.”

She laughed. “That’s absurd. I barely know you.”

“You don’t need to know someone to be attracted to them.”

“Me? Attracted to you?” She crossed her arms over her chest. “Not a chance.”

“You enjoyed when I held you naked against me—in the clearing.” He said it with such utter confidence, as if he knew it without a doubt. “You can’t deny that.”

She could, and she would for that matter, even if it wasn’t true. “Don’t flatter yourself, Colt.”

He chuckled darkly, pushing from where he sat on the log to stand. At his full height, he was all the more intimidating, towering over her. “I don’t need flattery. Most women find me attractive. It’s a matter of fact. Some are better at hiding it than others.” Those steely eyes fell to her. “But you’re not one of those women, Belle. You can’t hide your emotions, even when you try.”

She was hiding more from him than he’d ever know. “I’m not like most women.”

“No, you’re not,” he agreed. Colt’s eyes narrowed, and he stepped closer to the fire, staring into its depths. The flames burned bright, casting a dim orange glow on his face and creating shadows that hollowed the sharp lines of his cheekbones. “Most women bat their eyelashes, smile, and giggle when they find a man attractive. You, on the other hand, do the opposite. You narrow those pretty hazel eyes, pucker that little mouth, and let that viper-tongued wit fly, but it’s a defense mechanism. I’m a commander, Belle.” His gaze flicked toward her. “I know a defense tactic when I see one.”

“You think you have me all figured out, don’t you?”

“No.” He chuckled. “I know a challenge when I see one, and you work hard to be a challenge, Belle. But if the look in your wolf eyes is any indication, you may be a challenge, but you’re not as difficult to solve as you think. Not for me.”

She scoffed at him. “You’re not my type at all.”

It wasn’t true. Not in the slightest. But she needed to try to keep him at arm’s length. Her experiences with Wyatt had taught her that. It didn’t matter that she wanted otherwise. Before Colt, Belle hadn’t been certain she had a type, but with each passing second, she became more certain that if there were a reference book of her life, under “Belle’s type” Colt Cavanaugh’s picture would be the definition. See synonyms for reference: worst fear, here-comes-trouble, and The Devil Wears a Cowboy Hat.

There was that wolfish grin again. He saw straight through her. “Could have fooled me.” He turned away from the fire and drew closer. “I saw your desire in the clearing, felt the way you melted into my arms.”

Her hands clenched into fists. She was quickly losing this battle. “I was faking it.”

He shook his head, that grin still curving his lips in the slightest tilt as he prowled toward her. “You’re lying.”

He stood in front of her now, less than a foot away. She retreated until her spine pushed flush against one of the mighty pines behind her. The width and breadth of his shoulders dwarfed her, but still she fought to regain control. This was no more than one of his power plays.

“Then prove it.” The words slipped from her lips before she could stop them.

Those metal-gray eyes burned a molten liquid steel. “There are two things you need to know about me, Belle. The first is that I hate to be defied. As a commander, I’m more than used to getting my way. In fact, I damn well expect it. The second is that I never back down from a challenge”—his next words were a near growl—“because I always win.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Do your worst, Commander.”

Excerpted from Cowboy in Wolf’s Clothing by Kait Ballenger. © 2019 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

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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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…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: SAY NO TO THE DUKE by Eloisa James

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SAY NO TO THE DUKE: The Wildes of Lindow Castle, Book 4 by Eloisa James

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

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3B5F570D-E872-4175-8053-DB4AE00103E1Could she possibly refuse a duke’s hand—in favor of a sardonic, sinful rake?

Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.

No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.

If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.

But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.

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Excerpt

They moved toward each other as if they were following the steps of a very slow, very grand country dance. One that was danced by kings and queens and countryfolk alike.
When they were beside each other, she squared her shoulders and met his eyes. “I decided to come to you. I hope that is all right.”
“I do believe that you are the bravest woman I’ve ever met,” he replied.
He couldn’t have said anything better; Betsy felt herself begin to glow. “I haven’t been brave to this point, but I have made up my mind to change. I outlawed being nervous, but now I need to outlaw being afraid.” She hesitated. “I have chosen courage, and now I choose happiness.”
“I love you as you are,” he whispered, and then his mouth came down on hers.
Her breath caught in her throat because their tongues met as if they kissed every day, every night. He tasted right, which sent a shiver through her whole body, and pushed her against him gently, the way a pebble might roll up a beach when the tide comes in.
One doesn’t fight the tide.

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Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy of SAY NO TO THE DUKE by Eloisa James

Enter on Facebook Post Here

Winner will be selected Monday (7/8) by 6PM EST. Paperback provided by Avon.

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TOT - MARRUSEloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at http://www.eloisajames.com.

 

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE COWBOY MEETS HIS MATCH by Margaret Brownley

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THE COWBOY MEETS HIS MATCH (The Haywire Brides Series, Book 2) by Margaret Brownley

Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Genre: Western Romance

Synopsis

D684EA04-1263-45F0-9095-51489D39511EHis first mistake was marrying her.

His second was falling in love.

Chase McKnight will do anything to secure his family’s ranch—but marriage to a complete stranger? That’s a hard pill to swallow. Yet the will is clear: Chase needs a wife by his side if he wants to keep his home, so he meets his veiled lady at the courthouse steps and reluctantly says “I do”.

Too bad he married the wrong bride.

When Boston runaway Emily Fields agreed to marry a Texas stranger to escape her family’s scandal, she wasn’t prepared to get hitched to the wrong cowboy! Stuck in a secret compromise, she has one year to learn the ways of the ranch and convince Chase’s family they’re happily married. But when the lie becomes true, the past catches up to them and they must save the love they never expected…

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Excerpt

Watching Emily stagger away like a drunken cowhand, Chase kicked himself mentally. Now he’d done it.
All he’d wanted to do was keep a safe distance from her emotionally. It was the only way he could keep from thinking things he had no business thinking. Things like how she’d looked in that blasted towel.
But he’d gone too far, and now it appeared he had pushed her away completely.
He hated thinking that he’d taken out the resentment toward his father on her. She wasn’t to blame for any of this and was as much a victim of circumstances as he was.
Feeling lower than low, he watched her cross the yard for a moment before chasing after her. She might not admit it, but it was clear by the way she limped that she was hurting.
Emily stopped when he caught up to her. “Now what?” she demanded, eyes flashing.
“I just want to make sure you’re okay.”
If she was surprised by his interest in her welfare, it didn’t show. “I’m fine!” she snapped. “No thanks to you.”
Yep, she was hurting all right. He could see the strain in her eyes. She also looked like she’d been through the wringer. She straightened her hat, but not much could be done for the abundance of yellow hair that had sprung free from its bun. The intriguing smudge on her cheek, however, called for a man’s touch. His touch.
When he reached a finger to her smooth, silky skin to rub the spot away, her startled blue eyes met his. “Sorry,” he said, pulling his hand away. “You had somethin’ on your face.”
Her hand flew to her cheek, and her already heated face turned another shade darker.
“It’s gone now,” he said.
Her mouth formed a perfect circle, and she lowered her hand to her side.
He felt bad for giving her a hard time. Lack of sleep had made him start the day out of sorts, and his encounter with Cassie Decker hadn’t helped. Poor woman. She had counted on their marriage for her children’s sakes.
His failure in keeping his promise to Cassie had made him more determined to do right by Emily. Or at least to see to her safety. He’d let one woman down; he sure in blazes didn’t want to fail another.
Horses were dangerous. The land was dangerous. But a part of him knew there was more. A lot more. As long as they were at each other’s throats, he could control his thoughts. Or at least keep from dwelling on such things as Emily’s gold-tipped eyelashes. Or the little indentation on her cheek when she smiled. Or even the way her eyes flashed during their many confrontations.
Looking away, he reminded himself how unsuited she was for ranch life. How unequipped she was to deal with the harsh land. She was much more suited to the city.
“Tomorrow, we’ll go a little easier with your lesson,” he said, hoping to make amends for his bad behavior.
She lifted her chin, her face dark with anger. “There won’t be any more lessons.”
“Come on,” he said gently. “You don’t mean that. Look at you. You’re fine.” More than fine…
“No thanks to you!”
Surprised by the vehemence in her voice, he stepped back “Me? What did I do?”
Her blazing blue eyes met his. “You put me through hell, that’s what!”
“By teachin’ you the proper handlin’ of a hoss?”
“By making me obey your every command like a helpless imbecile!”
He drew in his breath. He’d been rough on her, but he never meant to make her feel bad. “You have to admit your knowledge of hosses leaves much to be desired.” Taking her silence to mean she agreed, he added, “Tomorrow, same time, same place.”
She shot visual daggers at him. “If you expect to have your way with me a second time, you better think again.” With that, she stormed away.
Her words struck a chord that was better left untouched. Still, he couldn’t hold back the words that popped into his head. “Trust me,” he called after. “If I wanted to have my way with you, it wouldn’t be on a hoss!”

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Buy Links
Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

5 Copies of COWBOY CHARM SCHOOL

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Margaret is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist, with more than 40 novels to her credit. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.

www.margaret-brownley.com

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: WICKED HIGHLAND WAYS by Mary Wine

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WICKED HIGHLAND WAYS (Highland Weddings Series, Book 6) by Mary Wine

Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

A9DFB980-CF2D-430C-8E3C-453E6F82BDF5Brenda Grant has no desire to marry. Ever since her first, horrible marriage she’s made herself into a hellion of a woman to keep men from wanting her. But the Campbells, her previous husband’s family, are determined to find her a new husband.

Highland Chief Bothan Gunn is smitten by the woman who won’t be tamed. It takes all Brenda’s willpower to resist the brawny Highlander who takes her to safety. But as they spend time together—and grow ever closer—Brenda finally finds the freedom she’s been longing for all along.

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Chief Bothan Gunn pulled his horse to a halt. He reached forward to rub its neck as he contemplated the view before him.

Maddox, his captain, came up beside him, tilting his head to one side as he waited to see why Bothan had stopped. Both of them peered at the land in front of them, the place where Scotland ended and England began.

“I never thought to lay eyes on that,” Maddox declared when Bothan remained silent. His voice drew out the last word, making it clear Maddox cared little for the place they were heading.

Bothan turned to look at him. “Or cross into it.”

Before them were the borderlands. England lay on the other side of them. He didn’t belong there, but Bothan set his stallion into motion because Brenda Grant wasn’t suited to England any more than he was.

She was wild.

And he was going to ensure she could remain unbridled by those who didn’t understand the value of a woman with the spark of life burning in her. Let the English keep their wives in submissive obedience. He craved a wife who would singe him with her heat and give him children with the strength to rise up to the challenge of living in the Highlands.

Brenda was that woman.

She would spit in his eye though. At least until he proved his worth to her.

He slowly grinned as he contemplated the battle ahead.

It was a fact; he was going to enjoy it.

And so would Brenda.

He’d see to that…personally.

Of course, first he had to rescue her. His lips curved into a grin. At last there was something pleasing about his journey into England. Snatching a prize from the hands of the English—well, there was something he would enjoy full well. They told tales in England of wild savages such as himself.

Highlanders.

Not that he was planning on changing the way the English thought about him.

No, he was riding onto their land to retrieve the woman he craved. Any who stepped between them was going to discover he was tenfold worse than any story they had ever heard.

Excerpted from Wicked Highland Ways by Mary Wine. © 2019 by Mary Wine. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of Between a Highlander and a Hard Place

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the author

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of erotic fantasy, romantic suspense, and historical romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in California with her husband and two sons.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: SMOOTH MOVES by Marie Harte

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SMOOTH MOVES (Veteran Movers Series, Book 2) by Marie Harte

Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

E9FDB385-D64D-404F-8262-FBA0ACC3FF02He may be all brawn
But when it really counts… His heart is all gold

Former Marine Cash Griffith is a brawny beacon for trouble, always finishing a fight that someone else starts. Working at his family’s moving company, he does his best to keep a low profile, but he can’t help but tangle with the newest employee, Jordan Fleming.

When Jordan joins Vets on the Go! she has her hands full with her new job and her rebellious teenage brother, not to mention going toe to toe with the obnoxious, arrogant, incredibly hot Marine at work. Soon their battles turn to camaraderie, and one kiss leads to a connection neither of them expected. But when dark secrets come to light, will their bond break…or strengthen into a happily-ever-after they desperately desire?

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Donna 5 Stars

Oh my, I loved this story of the Vets on the Go. Cash had me intrigued in book one, but now he is my favorite guy. Rough around the edges, but a teddy-bear inside. I just knew he and Jordan would make a good pair. They each had the cutting wit and tough-guy persona that sparked between them. I was actually surprised to like Jordan as much as I did. Their romance was sweet with a huge dose of sexy thrown in….and I loved it. One of my favorite parts of this series is the camaraderie between the co-workers and family members. It just works and makes me want to apply for a job there. The dialogue is smooth, the romance is touching, and the group dynamic is nicely written. It ticked all my boxes.

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

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Excerpt

Smith left them, and Cash glared at Smith’s back until he disappeared into the office. “I hate that guy.”

“I think the feeling is mutual.” Jordan wondered why.

“Has he been bothering you?” The look in Cash’s dark-green eyes warned her the man spoiled for a fight.

“Nope. He’s easy to get along with.”

Cash seemed disappointed. “Oh.”

“And he rarely talks. We got the Jasper job done in one day. Would have been back sooner, but traffic sucked.”

He let out a long sigh. “So what’s this favor I ‘owe you’?”

“I need you to talk to my brother.” The admission she couldn’t handle her own family felt easier while looking at his chest.

“Your brother?”

She glanced up, saw his interest, the way it lit up his face, and did her best not to stare at his firm, kissable lips. Damn it. She needed to focus on the man’s irritability, not his sex appeal.

Jordan swallowed. “How about I tell you about it over dinner tonight? And before you get any weird ideas, this is in no way a date. I do not want to have sex with you. I am not flirting or leading you on in any way. This is strictly to help my brother.”

He just stared at her. Unfortunately, behind him, Reid and Smith stared at her as well.

She felt her cheeks heat and wished she could sink through the floor.

“Man, I heard that,” Smith just had to say. “She in no way, shape, or form wants you, Cash. Not fucking at all.” Smith laughed as he walked away. His shouted “Rejected,” followed by more laughter, boomed down the corridor.

“Please tell me I can hit him,” he said to Reid.

“No. But I’m curious to hear why Jordan thinks she has to have this conversation with you,” Reid said. Jordan privately thought of him as Cash-Light. He had the same good looks but not as concentrated. Reid had a more slender build than his bulky older brother, and he had gray eyes. Not the mysterious, deep green of Cash’s. The debonair Griffith as opposed to Cash’s raw, wild bad boy.

“I’m not harassing her. Jesus, Reid.” Cash ran a hand through his hair, which caused his massive biceps to bulge. “Tell him, Jordan.”

A sucker for a pretty body more than a pretty face, Jordan felt every time she looked at Cash as if she’d been hit by a two-by-four because he possessed both. She nodded, distracted, wondering how much he could really bench-press.

“He is harassing you?” Reid asked, frowning.

“What? No, not at all.” She felt like a moron and forced herself to meet Reid’s concerned gaze. “Sorry. I meant I agreed with Cash. He’s fine. I just wanted to make sure my offer of dinner wasn’t confusing.” She wryly added, “You know your brother does better when things are laid out on the table.”

“True. Subtle he is not.”

“I’m right here,” Cash growled.

They both ignored him. “So you’re good then?” Reid asked her.

“Dandy.”

“Great. I’ll see you tomorrow. Cash, I’ll be—”

“At Naomi’s. Shocker.” Cash shrugged, but Jordan had a sense his brother’s new relationship bothered him.

Reid didn’t seem to notice. “Have a good night, you two.” He started down the corridor. “Oh, and Cash, close up for me, would you?” Reid didn’t wait for his answer as he disappeared into the stairway.

“Why not? Not like I have a life or anything,” Cash muttered as he walked into the office. “Well? You coming?”

Jordan hurried after him and helped him turn everything off and lock up. They walked down the stairs and exited the building to the parking lot. She took a moment to watch the sun hide behind some purple clouds. Orange rays penetrated the sky-blue horizon and dotted through indigo and pink clouds, painting a picture. She wished she could bask in the moment, letting go of the worries dragging her down.

But Rafi hadn’t been around for breakfast this morning, and she knew he’d avoided her on purpose. Between yesterday’s conversation and the call she’d earlier received from his school advisor, she’d come to the end of her rope. And the timing couldn’t have been better, with her brother spending the next few days at their parents’ for a change.

Cash stopped at his car and turned to her. “Your place for dinner, you said?”

“Yes. Follow me. It’s a ten-minute drive. I’ll text you the address in case you get lost.” She sent it to him before getting into her car.

He followed without too much of a hassle since the hour had passed six. Once at her place, she parked and waited for him. The apartment complex didn’t look like much on the outside, but she had a furnished, one-bedroom unit for under a thousand in rent, and the landlord seemed like a nice lady. Since Jordan was ex-military, the woman had foregone the $200 nonrefundable cleaning fee and full rental deposit.

After letting them both in, Jordan took a glance around. The addition of Rafi to her tiny apartment made life cramped, but Jordan had lived under worse conditions. The place was clean, fitted out, and, if not to her taste, at least nothing to be embarrassed about. Yet she felt a case of nerves as Cash shadowed her, his large presence impossible to ignore.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of The Whole Package

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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.

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