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

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

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

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Excerpt

The village of Brechin, Scottish Highlands

Year of Our Lord 1484

He’d seen her before.

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

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

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

Purposeful.

Confident.

He’d seen that walk once before.

Lor?”

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

He put up a hand to the old man.

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

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

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

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

At the moment, he was on the hunt.

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

Gleann Deamhain.

The Vale of Demons.

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

Gòrach, they’d called him.

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

This time, he was going to be careful.

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

She slapped him.

Lor laughed softly.

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

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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About the Author

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

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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

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

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

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

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

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

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Excerpt

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

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

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of Cowboy Firefighter Christmas Kiss

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

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

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

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

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

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

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

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

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Excerpt

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

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

 

Excerpted from Bears Behaving Badly by MaryJanice Davidson. © 2020 by MaryJanice Davidson. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

KindlePaperback

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Giveaway

3 Copies of Bears Behaving Badly

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

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

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Romance Heroes that would make the Perfect Valentine’s Day Date

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Romance Heroes that would make the Perfect Valentine’s Day Date

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★FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY★

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

Winner chooses an ebook or Paperback ($7.99 or under) from our List. Winner will be selected Monday (2/24/2020) by 6PM EST. EBOOK or Paperback paid for by Reading in Pajamas.

Note: You can choose any previous or upcoming book by the authors on our list if you haven’t read them. If you have read all of these you can take a rain check for the next release in the series.

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25419686-066E-45F0-90B0-F6E15EC30F45IGNITE ON CONTACT by Jaci Burton 

Kindle https://amzn.to/2Oj95mI | Review 4 Stars https://wp.me/p3d0RZ-bpC 

Rafe. He’s flirty, sexy, funny and has a big heart. Plus he’s a fireman.

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img_6620✦NIGHT PLAY (Dark-Hunter Series) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Blog Post | Amazon | Amazon Series Link

Who doesn’t want a sexy man to tell you that you’re beautiful and carry you off like a knight in shining armor? Vane would make the ultimate Valentine’s Day date!

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img_6625✦Lothaire (Immortals After Dark Series) by Kresley Cole
AmazonBlog PostAmazon Series Link

Lothaire literally rips his heart out for his woman! 

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img_6626✦I Want You To Want Me (Rock Star Romance Series) by Erika Kelly
Review 5 Stars | Kindle

These rockstars would all make great dates but Derek is my favorite because he takes care of everyone around him. Plus he’s hot;)

✿Rock Star Romance Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. You Really Got Me ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. I Want You To Want Me ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦3. Take Me Home Tonight ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦4. More Than a Feeling ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle

 

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img_6627✦Rock Chick Reawakening (1001 Dark Nights Novella) by Kristen Ashley
ReviewKindle | Amazon Series Link

Marcus! He’s totally sigh worthy! He builds Daisy a castle! A castle! He’s the ultimate bad boy Prince Charming.

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img_6633✦The Beast: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
Review | KindleAmazon Series Link

Rhage! He’s killer handsome, romantic to a fault and makes his date feel like she is the only woman on earth. Plus he can tie a cherry stem around his fang using his tongue;)

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img_6637✦The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
AmazonAmazon Author Page
Blog Post

Adam Black! The Dark Fairy! He sacrifices everything when he falls for his woman. I love him!

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE GODDESS GETS HER GUY by Ashlyn Chase

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THE GODDESS GETS HER GUY by Ashlyn Chase

Publication Date: November 26, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

44B2D3C9-0E1E-4889-AECA-DE72BE27E0D0What happens when the goddess meets Mr. Right…but she absolutely can’t tell him who she really is?

After leaving his job as a cardiac surgeon, Dr. Aaron Samuels needs a new purpose in his life. Wanting to help his patients even if he can’t operate, he heads to the Puerto Rican rainforest to find a cure for heart disease. He never imagined he’d meet a beautiful, mysterious woman, especially not one talking to a frog in the middle of the jungle…

Gaia—a.k.a. Mother Nature—has had it with paranormals breaking her number one rule: Never reveal your supernatural powers to humans, not even your mate. Fed up, she transports to the rainforest, happy to converse with amphibians who don’t talk back. But Dr. Samuels is a much better conversationalist, and Gaia can’t wait to help him mend all those broken hearts he told her about.

When her attempts to help only complicate things between them, Gaia begins to wonder what would happen if she opened her heart and was honest with Aaron…and herself. Maybe her number one rule has been wrong all along…

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Excerpt

Karma lifted her sunglasses. “How goes the challenge of the century, Sister?” She stretched her long legs over a lounge chair next to her private pool.
“More like the challenge of the millennia.” Fate plopped herself on the lounge chair beside her.
“I referred someone to you.”
Fate’s eyes widened. “Pan? You sent Pan?”
“No. Why? Did someone else send him?”
“I doubt it. He said he heard rumors and wanted to volunteer.”
Karma laughed. “What did you say?”
Fate sighed. “A resounding ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’”
“Good. I’m not sure he has ever made up for that horrible practical joke he pulled in the sixteenth century.”
“I confronted him on that. He seemed to think the whole thing was wildly exaggerated, and it may have been. You know writers…if the truth isn’t quite dramatic enough, they’ll embellish it. But he did give me something to think about. Instead of trying to find someone with opposite faults, I should be looking for someone with common interests. Faults can be overlooked if you’re happy and living a better life because of your mate.”
“Exactly true. Is that what you were doing? Looking for someone who is basically a saint?”
“No. Why would you say that?”
“Hon, our sister is so riddled with faults, I can’t think of anyone with opposing assets.”
Fate let out a huge sigh.
“Here.” Karma produced a pitcher of ice water and two tall glasses.
“Is that all you got?”
“I’m in need of hydration. If you want something else, get it yourself.”
Fate snapped her fingers and held a sparkling orange mimosa. “Some hostess you are.”
“I’m not hosting a party, Sister, and if I were, you’d be crashing it. I was just lying here, enjoying the sun. Alone.”
Fate rose. “Well, pardon me. I didn’t realize I needed an engraved invitation to come to you for support.”
Karma waved away her remark. “Sit back down. Of course I’m here for you if you need a shoulder to cry on.”
Fate shook her head. “Unbelievable. I’m not in tears. I just thought two heads would be better than one.”
“So you’re rethinking my offer to help. Hey, if you want me to come up with a list of assholes to punish by setting them up with her, I can help you and myself both.”
Fate laughed. “Yeah, right. Like any of our gods wouldn’t see that coming.”
“Who said it has to be a god?”
“What are you suggesting? A human who knows nothing of the paranormal world? That’s exactly what she doesn’t want.”
Karma shrugged. “Well, it’s either that or a paranormal. Flip a coin.”
Fate was about to laugh until she realized Karma might be onto something. There were plenty of men, both human and paranormal, who could give Gaia a run for her money—so to speak. And some knew about gods and goddesses, even worshipped them.
“Most men would cower from her, but there are a few with the self-confidence to stand up to her and not crumble when faced with her abilities,” Karma was saying.
“Perhaps…” Fate tapped her lip as she mentally ran through a list of men she’d destined for greatness but whom she hadn’t found mates for. There weren’t many. “Is there any world leader without a mate?” Fate asked.
“None who actually deserve one at the moment.”
“How about someone smart and selfless? Do you know of any heroes with very high IQs?”
“Aren’t those two things antithetical? How smart is it to run into a burning building or sacrifice yourself in another way?” Karma asked. “We’d be back to square one.”
Fate snorted. “Well, there goes the only suggestion the modern muses came up with.”
Karma gave a slight shrug. “Gaia isn’t all bad, you know. In fact, deep down, she has some very positive traits.”
Fate snickered. “Must be deeper than I’ve ever looked.”
* * * *
Aaron wandered aimlessly around his large living room. He had immediately retired from the Boston hospital where he’d worked for thirty years as a cardiac surgeon. Kind of necessary since he’d been diagnosed with essential tremors. At last, he dropped into his favorite chair, and as soon as he did, his black-and-white cat jumped onto his lap.
“Hi, Cat. I’m sorry we never gave you a more imaginative name, but you came when Ruthie called, so in a way, it’s your fault.” He scratched behind the cat’s furry ear, and the feline began to purr. On the housekeeper’s day off like this, he had no one to talk to but his cat—not that he talked to Mrs. Rivera very much. He had to keep his family’s magical witch power a secret, and it was easier to do if he didn’t communicate much with people who had no knowledge of magic and the paranormal.
“Can I confide in you, Cat? Of course I can. You won’t tell anyone, will you, boy?” He sighed deeply. “My hand trembled during a transplant. I can’t afford to nick an artery if even one finger trembles.”
He ran his currently steady hand over the cat’s soft back. “I have a beautiful million-dollar home in Brookline, but what’s a home without a family in it? No offense. You’re part of the family, but you don’t take up much room. What are we doing here?”
He answered, “I’m talking to myself. That’s what I’m doing.”
He let out a huge groan. Despite feeling odd about it, he continued his musing aloud. “My wife died two decades ago. You weren’t around then. I’ve raised my daughters, and they’re both living their own lives in their own homes, starting families. My nest is empty. Again, no offense. We’ll call it empty-ish.
“I miss my daughters, who I could talk to frankly about our Wiccan roots. I have one useless power. The power of invisibility.” He chuckled bitterly. “I might as well be invisible right now. Couldn’t have gotten a useful power, like my girls’ power to save one life a day with supernatural intervention.”
Cheek resting against his fist, he thought about how pathetic he seemed. He couldn’t stand being this way. He hadn’t told anyone about his diagnosis. “Maybe it’s a good thing they’re not here. The girls would worry, and I don’t want to burden them.

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Buy Links

KindlePaperback

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Giveaway

3 Copies of THE GODDESS GETS HER GUY by Ashlyn Chase

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the Author

An award-winning author, ASHLYN CHASE specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse, and for the Red Cross, and has a degree in behavioral sciences. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire.

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

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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…

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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.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.
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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.

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

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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…

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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.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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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

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Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: CLAIMING SARAH by Susan Stoker

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CLAIMING SARAH (Ace Security Series, Book 5) by Susan Stoker

Publication Date: September 10, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author Guest Post

Opposites Attract: When Cole Claims Sarah

In Claiming Sarah, Cole Johnson is co-owner of one of his town’s most popular gyms. He’s extremely busy since his partner, Felicity, is out of town. He makes an appointment to meet with Sarah Butler, to arrange for some self defense training for her, but he almost loses his chance when she overhears him telling his secretary he’s too busy and to give her an excuse as to why he can’t meet her. The couple (obviously) works out that awkward first meeting and Sarah begins learning how to defend herself from a creepy man who keeps giving her inappropriate presents. Of course the more time Cole spends with Sarah, the more he likes her and they end up dating. When she disappears it’s up to Cole, and Ace Security, to put together the clues to find her before it’s too late.

Cole Johnson is a man who’s used to plowing through his day and when he needs or wants something, he simply gets it. Sarah Butler is more reserved. As a kid who didn’t feel wanted until she was finally adopted she was used to being in the background. Cole and Sarah compliment each other perfectly. Cole is able to ferret out what Sarah wants and needs and he delivers. And in return Sarah keeps Cole grounded. She smooths out his jagged edges.

I think that’s how good relationships work, at least in my books. The Hero is there to protect and shield his woman from anyone or anything that might want to hurt her, and she’s there to keep him grounded and to support him. It seems to just work.

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Synopsis

45FDF5E8-370B-4770-A58E-8B11BCE56280Sarah Butler isn’t flattered. She’s angry and unnerved. She’s been getting intimate gifts from a man she barely knows. Nothing threatening yet, but there’s just a weird vibe she can’t ignore. Her recourse is Ace Security. Their solution: self-defense lessons at Rock Hard Gym with a personal, hands-on instructor. One look at the bearded, tattooed, green-eyed alpha is enough to take Sarah’s breath away.

Cole Johnson is definitely the man for the job. He’s eager to train her. Eager to get closer. And when it comes to Sarah’s instincts, Cole knows she’s not imagining things. He’s also not imagining the intense attraction between them—and his desire to protect her is growing. But so are Sarah’s fears, the worst of which come true when she disappears.

Enlisting the help of Ace Security, Cole will stop at nothing to find the love of his life . . . before she vanishes forever.

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Donna 4 stars

 

I enjoyed this installment in the Ace Security series, though not as much as the others. Sarah was a little too self-depreciating for me…needing assurances all the time. It didn’t really match her upbringing for me. That being said…she was sweet, caring, and a perfect match for Cole. The antagonist in this story had a nice twist as well. A bit different than the usual fare, so adding a nice dimension to show Sarah’s caring nature. They had a nice spicy romance that developed rather quickly into love. It was a quick read that I could not put down and made me anxious for the next installment.

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

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Excerpt

“Do you ask out every woman you train at your gym? It just seems . . . fast.”

Cole stared at her for a long moment, and when he frowned, Sarah felt as if she’d somehow disappointed him.

“No, I don’t ask out every woman I train. Not even close. It’s been a long time since I’ve asked anyone out. And believe me, Sarah, I’m looking at you—and I like what I see. A lot. You’ve got an air of innocence about you that I find fascinating. You’ve had a tough life, but haven’t let it harden you. I respect you, and I . . . I’d like to get to know you better.”

She bit her lip and took a deep breath, but didn’t immediately protest, so he went on. “I have a feeling simply being around you will make me a better person.”

Sarah shook her head. “Don’t do that. Don’t put me on a pedestal. I’m not some paragon walking around sprinkling glitter throughout the world.”

Cole laughed. Threw his head back and laughed as if she’d said the funniest thing he’d ever heard.

Sarah tugged on her hand again, somewhat offended, but he still refused to let go.

When he got himself under control, he said, “I know you’re not perfect. You’re too trusting. You see the good in everyone, even when there isn’t any there. You probably neglect your own health in order to do something good for someone else.”

“You make me sound like an idiot,” Sarah grumbled, despite being secretly kind of flattered.

“You’re not an idiot. You’re refreshing. And I’m not. I’ve got more than my share of flaws that I’m sure you’ll discover sooner rather than later. But as I said, if you let me get to know you, go out on a few dates with me, I’m hoping you’ll find that you like me back . . . just a little.”

Sarah frowned. “I already like you, Cole, but I don’t understand you. You don’t know anything about me. I could totally be lying to you right now, and you just bought my lies hook, line, and sinker.”

He smiled again. “You’re not lying.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I’m an expert at reading body language. I’ve been around some bad people in my life, angel. You are who you say you are. What you see is what you get.”

Sarah licked her lips nervously, and his gaze immediately followed the movement.

Cole persisted. “Say you’ll go out with me, Sarah.”

“I thought I was here to figure out how to defend myself.”

“You are. And we’ll get to that. Agreeing to go out with me in no way affects whether or not I’ll teach you some basic moves that will allow you to get away from someone and get to safety.”

“But if I say no, things could get weird.”

“Then say yes,” Cole cajoled. “I swear you’ve got nothing to fear from me. I’ll even get references if that will make you feel safer.”

“It’s not that. I think I feel safer with you than anyone I’ve ever been around . . .” She
hesitated.

“But?”

“I’m afraid once you get to know me, you’ll decide I’m annoying. Too much work or something. I work odd hours, weird shifts. And I looked you up online. I know about your friend and what happened to her. And about the Andersons. The last thing I want is my stalker getting upset when he sees us together—because he will—and taking out any anger on you and your friends.”

“Breathe, angel. Take a breath. Nothing is going to happen to them.”

“You can’t control people, Cole,” Sarah pressed. “They’re unpredictable.”

“Fine. Then we’ll meet with Logan, Blake, Nathan, and Ryder, and make sure they know everything about this Owen guy. We’ll let them investigate and figure out what will make him back off. In the meantime, we’ll hang out at my place. Or here. Or your house. We won’t shove our relationship down Owen’s throat. We’ll be discreet. How’s that sound?”

Sarah could only gape at him. “How’d we go from me wanting some tips on protecting myself to having Ace Security investigating Owen and you and me hanging out at each other’s houses?”

He smiled at her again, but didn’t answer her question.

She took a deep breath and gave him the only answer she could. “Okay.”

He beamed. “Okay,” he said quietly. Then he finally let go of her hand and stood, before immediately reaching the same hand down to her again. “Time for your first lesson.”

Automatically, she reached up and let him help her off the floor. She wasn’t sure what she was expecting. A kiss to seal the deal. A hug. A discussion about when and where their first date would be. But so far, Cole hadn’t done anything the way she expected him to.

“First lesson for today will be how to get a guy to let go of your hand if he’s been holding on too long and you’re uncomfortable.”

Sarah knew he was referring to her feeble attempts to pull her hand out of his, and blushed. But he was right, this was something she should know. It would come in handy at the hospital too, just in case one of the patients or family members got a little too familiar, as they’d done in the past.

Concentrating on his instruction, she did her best to put her nerves about dating Cole behind her.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

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Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card and Digital Copy of Susan Stoker’s CLAIMING SARAH

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the Author

A6A4A7AC-5A93-469E-AFD3-1946AC00DD2BSusan Stoker is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her series include Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, Delta Force Heroes, and Mountain Mercenaries. Married to a retired Army noncommissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri and California to Colorado and Texas—and currently lives under the big skies of Tennessee. A true believer in happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love.

Blog Tour & Review: QUIET MAN: A Dream Man Novella by Kristen Ashley

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QUIET MAN: A Dream Man Novella by Kristen Ashley

Publication Date: August 13, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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6A52F103-D0D4-48E1-96E2-72C9D9667338From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes a new story in her Dream Man series…

Charlotte “Lottie” McAlister is in the zone. She’s ready to take on the next chapter of her life, and since she doesn’t have a man, she’ll do what she’s done all along. She’ll take care of business on her own. Even if that business means starting a family.

The problem is, Lottie has a stalker. The really bad kind. The kind that means she needs a bodyguard.

Enter Mo Morrison.

Enormous. Scary.

Quiet.

Mo doesn’t say much, and Lottie’s used to getting attention. And she wants Mo’s attention. Badly.

But Mo has a strict rule. If he’s guarding your body, that’s all he’s doing with it.

However, the longer Mo has to keep Lottie safe, the faster he falls for the beautiful blonde who has it so together, she might even be able to tackle the demons he’s got in his head that just won’t die.

But in the end, Lottie and Mo don’t only have to find some way to keep hands off until the threat is over, they have to negotiate the overprotective Hot Bunch, Lottie’s crazy stepdad, Tex, Mo’s crew of frat-boy commandos, not to mention his nutty sisters.

All before Lottie finally gets her Dream Man.

And Mo can lay claim to his Dream Girl.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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Trailer

➣ Watch the book trailer: http://bit.ly/2YZZ70T

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Cori 5 StarsThis book gave me all the feels! I loved QUIET MAN! This novella is part of the Dream Man series, but Lottie is really part of the Rock Chick group and Mo is one of Hawk’s Commandos. JHawk’s book is the first book in the Dream Man series so it’s kind of of a blend of both series. I loved every minute of Lottie and Mo’s story. It had all that Kristen Ashley story magic! Emotion, excitement, fun and smoking hot romance. I highly recommend this series for romance lovers. Kristen Ashley is one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait for the new spin-off series, the Dream Series, releasing next year featuring more hot commandos!

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

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Crumpled pink linen on bed

Buy Links

KindlePaperback

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PRE-ORDER SPIN-OFF:
✦DREAM MAKER (The Dream Series Book 1) by Kristen Ashley (Releasing 05/26/20) ➢ Kindle $6.99 https://amzn.to/2RCzVYp
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✦DREAM MAN SERIES BY KRISTEN ASHLEY✦
✦Mystery Man ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/1fy7t2y
✦Wild Man ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/15tikVs
✦Law Man ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/18fhoWh
✦Motorcycle Man ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/1G5yibS
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✦ROCK CHICK SERIES BY KRISTEN ASHLEY✦
► Amazon Series Link: http://amzn.to/1SPur4w
✦ 1 ~ Rock Chick ➢ KINDLE http://amzn.to/1aiEqxy
✦ 2 ~ Rock Chick Rescue ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/13KMqjM
✦ 3 ~ Rock Chick Redemption ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1cYoguq
✦ 4 ~ Rock Chick Renegade ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/17WYlfn
✦ 5 ~ Rock Chick Revenge ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/12hasoI
✦ 6 ~ Rock Chick Reckoning ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/16Awq9M
✦ 7 ~ Rock Chick Regret ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1aiF5PB
✦ 8 ~ Rock Chick Revolution ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/13xkYuU
✦ Prequel Novella ~ Rock Chick Reawakening ➢ KINDLE: http://amzn.to/28LIgnL
✦ 9 ~ Rock Chick Reborn ➢ KINDLE: https://amzn.to/2TTThcE

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 Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

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