Release Launch, Review & Excerpt: CROSSING HOPE by Kimberly Kincaid

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CROSSING HOPE (Cross Creek Series, Book 4) by Kimberly Kincaid

Publication Date: October 15, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

549930BC-E975-4789-A659-CC0678C989FAMarley Rallston would rather be anywhere other than too-small-for-a-map-dot Millhaven, Virginia. But thanks to a heap of debt, what was supposed to be a quick trip to fulfill her mother’s dying wish has turned into an extended stay with the family she never knew she had and the father who never wanted her. To top it off, now she’s being forced to do community service with the town’s biggest bad boy, when all she wants to do is make enough cash to get out of Dodge? Life can’t get much worse.

The only thing Greyson Whittaker cares about is his family’s farm. He’ll do anything to keep Whittaker Hollow in the black, including live up to his rough, tough reputation by running the place by himself, no matter the cost. Mandatory community service with the daughter of their biggest rival is the last thing he wants or needs. But the more time Greyson and Marley spend together, the hotter their attraction burns, and the more the unlikely pair begins to realize that forbidden fruit just might taste the sweetest…

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Donna review 4.5 stars

I enjoyed reading this lovely installment in the Cross Creek series. Greyson and Marley were absolutely made for each other. At face value you would wonder about their mutual attraction, but I think they saw themselves in each other, and were immediately drawn in. However, I wished I had liked Marley sooner. She’s been there long enough to give something to those around her, to loosen up the barrier she had built – no matter her reasons. That being said…I loved Marley and Greyson as a couple and how they helped each other grow. I love the family, life in Millhaven and of course…the steamy romance. This is one of those stories that left me smiling long after the book was done. Now the only problem is waiting for the next one.

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

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Excerpt

Marley’s boots clapped to a halt on the linoleum at the same time her heartbeat cranked way, way up in her chest. She blamed the former on the way the deputy—who had nervously picked her up from The Corner Market—had stopped short beside her, as well as the sight of her oldest brother Owen’s best friend standing a few feet away, his face locked in disbelief. The latter was entirely the fault of the man planted next to Lane, though. Between his tanned skin, the tall, muscular frame that nearly gave Lane’s a run for its money, and the inky black tattoo curling from beneath the sleeve of his T-shirt all the way to his left elbow, Marley really couldn’t help the visceral reaction.

Even if the guy was leveling her with a dark and stormy gaze that said he didn’t like what he was looking at in return.

“What the hell is going on here?” Lane’s voice crash-landed in Marley’s thoughts just in time to chase the flush from her face. What did she care what this scowling stranger thought of her, anyway? She had bigger problems at the moment, thanks.

Case in point. “I, uh,” Deputy Collingsworth stammered, turning roughly the color of summer strawberries as he cleared his throat. “I made an arrest.”

“I can see that,” Lane replied tightly. “What I meant was, would you care to elaborate on exactly why it is that you’ve arrested my best friend’s little sister?”

Marley’s gut fluttered, but she refused to let the sensation get anywhere near her face. She’d known exactly what she was doing when she’d claimed those groceries as her own. Even if the steel bars and jail cell were a whole lot more real now that they were standing starkly in front of her.

Deputy Collingsworth straightened. “She was shoplifting at The Corner Market. Travis Paulson caught her red-handed, and she admitted it, to him and to me. What else was I supposed to do?”

Shock streaked over Lane’s face, but it didn’t last. “Radio me, for starters,” he hissed, and the guy next to him released an audible, oh-please scoff that sent Marley’s brows hooking up. She opened her mouth to tell Lane and the deputy and God and anyone else within earshot that she didn’t want any special treatment.

But Lane was already shaking his head, the thought forgotten. “You know what, never mind. We’ve got a more immediate issue to deal with here.”

“Okay,” Woody said, enough of a question hanging in his voice that Lane huffed out a breath.

“I’ve also made an arrest, as you can see.” He jerked his chin at Tall, Dark, and Scowling. “And we can’t put two people of the opposite sex in the same jail cell.”

The guy’s face changed then, sending another curl of heat through Marley’s blood. “By all means. Ladies first,” he said, gesturing grandly at the single cell. His smirk was its own entity, taking over his unnervingly rugged and (ugh) undeniably good-looking face as if it had a life of its own. He could fill Wrigley Field with his arrogant attitude and ultra-cocky bravado. Even then, he was brimming with so much of both that he’d probably have to use a crowbar to cram it all in. Too bad for him and his sexy little smile, Marley was packing boatloads of backbone, herself.

And she was in just the mood to let it fly like a fifty-foot flag.

“Oh, no. Really. Age before beauty,” she maintained, planting her hands on the hips of her cutoffs and smiling so sweetly at the wide-open door to the cell, she damn near needed a root canal. “After you.”

The guy’s black brows shot toward the tousled waves falling over his forehead. “It wouldn’t be gentlemanly of me to step on your cute little toes. Please. I insist.”

Oh, my God, was this guy even for real?

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Buy Links

Kindle $3.99 | Amazon Paperback $9.99

Amazon Series Link

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✦Cross Creek Series by Kimberly Kincaid✦
1. Crossing HeartsReview | Kindle
2. Crossing the LineKindle
3. Crossing PromisesReviewKindle
4. Crossing HopeKindle

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About the Author

C1A7FA93-44B0-4B39-B4D7-34DA97C29F46Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and 2016 and 2015 RWA RITA finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.

Facebook ✯ Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Pinterest ✯ Instagram

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: INTERCEPTED by Alexa Martin

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INTERCEPTED (The Playbook Series, Book 1) by Alexa Martin

Publication Date: September 11, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

56C0999D-EBD8-4B2A-B967-1684B8266834Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there’s a new player on the horizon, and he’s in a league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team’s wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee’s return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin’s relationship to survive the season.

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Excerpt

The idea of Gavin showing up to my family home sets the butterflies in my stomach free. I have to remind myself he doesn’t remember me, he’s just being friendly to a teammate’s girlfriend. End of story.

“Don’t you wish. Chris isn’t even promised a seat. Quarterback or not, my family doesn’t share well when it comes to pasta.”

“Well, I’m awesome, and Chris is questionable. Your family would love me.”

“Maybe they could find a seat for you, but I’m not sure the room is big enough for your ego to tag along.” I ignore the jab at Chris, handing Gavin the final plate.

“Damn. You got jokes?” He acts insulted, but there’s a smile on his face when he says it. I shrug it off and give him a hand towel. I tend to forget not everybody knows my sense of humor. Something I should try harder to remember when it concerns my boyfriend’s coworkers.

He hands me the last plate to dry, and his fingers graze mine. The contact is so minimal, I shouldn’t have noticed it. But when it comes to Gavin, I notice everything. “Thanks for helping, but I really do have work to finish.”

I hang the towel from the stove and try to play it cool. I’m not a relationship expert or anything, but I’m pretty sure I’ve watched enough reality shows to know crushing on your boyfriend’s coworker is generally a no-no.

“TK told me you did his website. I checked it out and it looks fantastic. Are you taking on new clients?”

When I turn away from the stove and face him, he’s in the same spot, watching me with what I think is either curiosity, mistrust, or kindness.

Yes, I’m aware those are all different, but I’ve never been very good at reading people.

“Always. It’s rare for me to ever turn down a client.” I look for something else in the kitchen to keep me busy.

“Good, because my website needs an overhaul since I switched teams.”

Oh no. Not gonna happen. Seeing him on occasion is one thing, but working for him is on a whole other level of asking for trouble.

“Your website? Didn’t you already have somebody design your website?” I scramble for any excuse to say no. “I doubt you need a new one, just a few tweaks, and I don’t like messing with other people’s work.”

“You just said you didn’t turn down a client. I want a new website. I’ll have Madison email you some pictures of me in Mustangs gear and shots of my charity events.”

Oh lovely, Gavin and Madison. This keeps getting better and better.

“Your girlfriend is your secretary? How very old-school.”

“Madison isn’t my girlfriend. She’s an old friend who happens to work in PR.” He shakes his head, acting like the idea of him with the leggy beauty is outrageous. “Think about it for me. I’d really appreciate it, and I promise to recommend you to everyone I know.”

Dammit. Doing this would be huge for me. I got my degree in graphic design from the Art Institute five years ago and started doing some freelance work to keep me busy. Business has been growing slowly over the past five years . . . which is fine. Chris gets all offended when I offer to pay for anything so I shovel all my money into savings and paying off my student loans.

I graduated with my masters in marketing last spring and have spent all summer (unsuccessfully) trying to find an adult job complete with medical. Unfortunately for me, the closest I got to medical was the marijuana dispensary next door to an interview I went to. So while I wait to find the apparent unicorn job I’ve spent my entire life preparing for, I might just have to build a website for my ex-fling turned current boyfriend’s coworker.

I’m about to agree when the intercom buzzes and Chris’s voice booms through the kitchen. “Marlee, can you go find Pope for us?” he asks. He hangs up before I have the chance to answer.

“I guess that’s my cue.” Gavin starts walking out of the kitchen but stops before he makes it all the way out. “By the way, I think you dropped this.” He pulls something small out of his pocket, tosses it to me, and is gone before I even realize what I’m holding.

My grandma’s necklace. The one my mom gave me after she passed.

The one I lost four years ago in a Chicago apartment. 

Holy shit.

He kept it?

Holy shit.

He remembers me!

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Buy Links
Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

Paperback provided by Berkley Romance.

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About the Author

Alexa Martin is a writer and stay at home mom. She lives in Colorado with her husband, a former NFL player who now coaches at the high school where they met, their four children, and a German shepherd. Her first book, Intercepted, was inspired by the eight years she spent as an NFL wife.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: COWBOY CHARM SCHOOL by Margaret Brownley

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COWBOY CHARM SCHOOL (The Haywire Brides) by Margaret Brownley

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: Western Romance

Synopsis

5F706DF9-4FFC-4E9F-8E74-E05F2B3AAFF1When Texas Ranger Brett Tucker accidentally derails a wedding, he’s determined to bring the estranged couple back together…but he never dreamed he’d start falling for the bride!

Texas Ranger Brett Tucker hates to break up a wedding, but the groom—notorious criminal Frank Foster—is a danger to any woman. So he busts into the church, guns blazing…only to find he has the wrong man.

STOP THAT WEDDING!

Bride-to-be Kate Denver is appalled by her fiancé’s over-the-top reaction to the innocent mistake and calls off the wedding—for good. Guilt-ridden, Brett’s desperate to get them back on track. But the more time he spends with Kate, the harder he falls…and the more he yearns to prove that he’s her true match in every way.

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Excerpt

Could she ever forgive the man for breaking up her wedding?

“Miss Denver. I’m afraid we didn’t get properly introduced the other day. I’m Brett Tucker, Texas Ranger.”

“I know who you are,” she said, her voice as hard as the peanut brittle displayed in the glass counter standing between them.

He sucked in his breath. If looks could kill, he’d be a goner for sure. Not that he could blame her. Thanks to him, not only was her interrupted wedding the talk of the town, the Haywire Dispatch had planted the story on the front page beneath a bold headline: Wedding Ends in Disaster.

Brett cleared his throat. “I…eh…came to apologize again for what happened. I had no idea that there were two Frank Fosters.” Thinking that an explanation was in order, he continued, “The Foster I was looking for is a wanted man. I’ve been on his trail for a long while.” TwiceBrett had almost caught him. Both times the man had slipped away.

“When I heard that someone by that name was getting married, I immediately assumed it was the fugitive I’ve been chasing.”

Miss Denver crossed her arms. “Next time you might want to look before you leap.”

“I hope to God there isn’t a next time, ma’am. I never want to stop another wedding.” He rubbed his still sore chin. “All I could think about was saving you.”

“Saving me?” She stared at him. “You don’t even know me.”

“Not personally, ma’am, that’s true. But the Frank Foster I’m after is a danger to any woman.”

She said nothing, and he continued. “I hope you’ll let me make it up to you. If there’s anything I can do…?”

“I believe you’ve done quite enough already, Mr. Tucker,” she said, her voice as cool as the eyes boring into him.

He drew in his breath. She wasn’t making it easy but then, why should she? Still, he wasn’t ready to give up. “There must be something. I tried bailing your fiancé out of jail, but he refused to accept my help.”

Something flickered in the depths of her eyes. “If you’re serious about wanting to do something, you’ll leave town and not return.”

Tilting his Stetson forward, he rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m afraid that will be a little hard to do, ma’am.” A crime wave had hit the county, overwhelming local lawmen. The opportunity to serve as a special Texas Ranger couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.Brett was sent to Haywire to assist the sheriff in bringing the culprits to justice, but the reason he’d volunteered for the job was far more personal.

“I’m here on special commission from Captain McMurray.”

Miss Denver greeted his news with a look of disdain. “Then I suggest you attend to your business and stay away from the rest of us.”

“As you wish,” he said.  He made quick strides toward the door before stopping.Glancing over his shoulder, he found her watching him. “Your dress,” he said. “I’d feel a whole lot better if you’d let me pay for any damage.” He had no idea the cost of a wedding gown, but it couldn’t be cheap.

“Go.” she said with a beseeching look. “Please. Just…go.

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Buy Links
Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

3 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: MAVERICK (Cat Star Legacy) by Cheryl Brooks

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MAVERICK (Cat Star Legacy) by Cheryl Brooks

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Synopsis

E96F8D6B-DD2D-4DD0-8682-7B89A3A58EBEZetithians are back. And they’re hotter than ever…

Having the Zetithian feline gene gives Larry Tshevnoe awesome beauty, fearsome strength, sensuality and sexual prowess unmatched by any other males in the universe. But it can make the quest for true love…complicated.

Enter childhood friend and fellow Zetithian Althea Banadänsk. Her empathic powers make her the only one who can show Larry what he truly desires, and she’ll do anything to help…even if that means hiding her desperate craving for him.

But when a distress call sends them off course—and into danger—they find more than their hearts are at stake. Now it’s up to them to become the champions of truth and justice throughout the galaxy…or risk losing it all.

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Excerpt

“You have got to be kidding me.”

Larry was prepared for Althea’s reaction. After all, that was pretty much what everyone said when they first laid eyes on his ship. “Don’t worry. She’s got it where it counts.”

“Uh-huh,” she drawled. “Sure she does.”

“Come on now, Al. You know Mom wouldn’t let me fly around in a no-good ship. In fact, she’s the one who found it for me.”

Jack had also taken it to the same Delfian mechanic who’d outfitted the Jolly Roger, which could outfly damn near any ship in the quadrant—a distinction Jack was not only very proud of, but went to great lengths to maintain and seldom missed an opportunity to demonstrate. Larry’s vessel, being smaller with less room to accommodate the supercharged stardrive components, came in a close second.

“Hmm…” Althea studied the exterior, her gaze ultimately landing on the name painted above the main hatch. “The Three Stooges? Seriously? I mean, I get the reference, but what kind of a name is that for a ship?”

Larry had heard that comment before too. “Did that before Moe and Curly decided they wanted ships of their own. Never got around to changing it, especially since I’d already had it registered. I tend to refer to it as the Stooge, but I’m probably the only one who does.”

He stepped up to the hatch and keyed open the palm lock, then waited while two sections of the battered hull slid up like a pair of gull’s wings. “I’d thought of calling it the DeLorean, but that name was already taken. Guess Mom isn’t the only ship’s captain with a fondness for antiques.”

This time, Althea didn’t even rise to the bait, which had Larry more than a little concerned. He’d always been able to make her laugh. Something was different. Something even a Zetithian with the occasional prescient vision couldn’t figure out.

His concern was short-lived, however, because the other oddity of his starship chose to put in an appearance.

“Mother of the gods,” Althea whispered. “You might have warned me.”

To her credit, she hadn’t screamed, which was what most people did when they met his Scorillian navigator—or sidekick as Brak preferred to be called, a preference he seldom failed to mention.

After a quick glance over his shoulder to make sure the coast was clear, Larry beckoned to his partner. “Hey, Brak. C’mon out and meet Althea.”

With a wave of his fluffy antennae, Brak minced down the gangplank, holding out a barbed appendage as he approached. “I am pleased to meet you, Althea. I’ve heard so much about you.”

Althea chose to tap the joint above Brak’s terminal pincer rather than shaking hands with the huge insect, a move that Larry considered to be quite prudent. “Nice to meet you, Brak. I haven’t heard one damn thing about you.”

Brak’s antennae flattened as he rotated a bulbous eye toward Larry while keeping the other eye aimed at Althea. “There are times when I believe him to be ashamed of me.”

“Not ashamed,” Larry said. “Just careful. If the Baradans had known you were on board, they might not have let us land.”

Brak thrust his mandibles forward in a gesture Larry had only recently identified as a pout. If Althea could read Scorillians—and Larry honestly wasn’t sure she could—having her along for the ride would go a long way toward deciphering his shipmate’s moods. Although some of Brak’s emotions were probably best left in the dark.

“You know I am not a carrier of the plague,” Brak whined. “Why does this unjust stigma persist?”

Larry shrugged. “I can’t help you, Brak. Maybe if it was called something other than the Scorillian plague, you might be able to escape the connection, but it isn’t, so I guess you’re stuck with it.”

“So annoying.” Brak nibbled the tip of his pincer like a nervous Nellie biting her fingernails. “Particularly since we Scorillians have so many other redeeming qualities.”

“Yeah. So I’ve heard.”

Brak displayed his annoyance with the usual crunching of his mandibles. “I’ll be in my quarters if I’m needed.” With a flutter of his translucent green wings, Brak did a quick about-face and retreated up the gangplank.

Scorillians might have other attributes, but Brak’s ability to navigate a ship was Larry’s particular favorite. Brak claimed he could plot a course through a black hole and come out less than ten meters from his intended target on the other side. While that was an obvious exaggeration, he’d certainly never been lost—at least not to Larry’s knowledge.

Larry’s own expertise was in deep space communications, and he was amassing a fair fortune by upgrading outdated comsystems. Since most manufacturers would rather replace a system than upgrade it, he was able to save his clients a considerable amount of money, and his popularity had grown along with his bank account. He didn’t even have to advertise. Word of mouth got him all the work he could handle.

He’d been doing the same type of work even as a teenager aboard his parents’ ship, and while he could have set up shop somewhere, he wasn’t one to sit around and wait. So, like the tinkers in days of old, he traveled to wherever his services were needed, which was how he’d met Celeste.

If he’d met her on the street in Rhylos’s brothel district, where sex pheromones were continuously pumped into the air, he would’ve discounted the attraction entirely. But they’d met when he’d stopped off at the orphanage to visit Onca and Kim. Since there were no airborne pheromones inside the Palace, the only enticement was Celeste’s own personal scent, which was alluring, if somewhat baffling.

She was pretty too. Lush, curvy figure. Long, softly curling blond hair. Sparkling green eyes. Captivating smile. Yeah. She was very attractive, not to mention intelligent, witty, and charming. He just couldn’t decide whether he loved her. Perhaps he was wrong to go running off to find Althea—after all, hardly anyone consulted an empath before choosing a mate—but since he’d known Althea all his life, he saw no reason not to make use of her abilities. The truth was, with everything he’d seen and heard about how much trouble the sexual prowess of Zetithian males could cause, he didn’t trust himself. Or Celeste.

“He is kinda moody,” Larry whispered as Brak disappeared through the hatch. “Think you can handle that?”

Althea slung her oversized duffel bag over her shoulder and started up the gangplank. “I’m sure we’ll get along fine as long as I don’t have to share a bunk with him.”

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Buy Links
Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

3 Copies of MAVERICK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse who resides in rural Indiana with her husband, two sons, two horses, four cats, and one dog. Her Cat Star Chronicles series was first published by Sourcebooks Casablanca in 2008, and includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and Rebel. Her Cowboy Heaven series includes the Cowboy Delight novella and two novels, Cowboy Heaven and Must Love Cowboys. Self-published works include Sex, Love, and a Purple Bikini, Midnight in Reno, The Soul Survivors Trilogy: Echoes From the Deep, Dreams From the Deep, and Justice From the Deep, and the Unlikely Lovers series: Unbridled, Uninhibited, Undeniable, and Unrivaled. Maverick is the first book in her new Cat Star Legacy series. Look for Mystic in January 2019. She has also published If You Could Read My Mind writing as Samantha R. Michaels. As a member of The Sextet, she has written eight erotic novellas published by Siren/Bookstrand. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, singing, and guitar playing. Cheryl is a member of RWA and IRWA. 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: COWBOY SEAL CHRISTMAS by Nicole Helm

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COWBOY SEAL CHRISTMAS (Navy SEAL Cowboys, Book 3) by Nicole Helm  

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

0470A975-B7E2-4A89-A783-1EA9922EADDBThree former Navy SEALs

Injured in the line of duty

Desperate for a new beginning…

Searching for a place to call their own.

Single mom and Revival Ranch’s on-site therapist Monica Finley has dedicated her life to helping brave servicemen and women, but former Navy SEAL Gabe Cortez is the one man whose shell she just can’t crack. Yet with the holidays fast approaching, she may finally have a plan. In a bid to get Gabe to open up, she’ll ask for as much help as possible—cutting down the Christmas tree, stringing lights, the whole nine yards.

Who could possibly be a Grinch with so much holiday cheer in the air?

Gabe has always hated Christmas—the holiday never fails to remind him just how alone he truly is. But the more time he spends with Monica and her young son, the more he finds himself drawn to their cozy little family…and the more he begins to realize his long-suppressed Christmas dreams may finally be coming true.

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Excerpt

And then they were all heading for the stairsMonica and Colin bickering over bedtimes, Alex and Becca sleepily arm in arm, and Gabe was left alone, seemingly forgotten, just him and the dogs.

He got up, ready to head out and ignore any of the idiotic disappointment in his chest. But bottles and glasses littered the coffee table, along with a few paper plates. Hed just grab those and throw them away, cutting down on some of the work Monica had to do. Quickly, before she came back down.

He collected the plates and a few bottles, disposing of them in the appropriate receptacles in the kitchen. Then he figured he could unload the dishwasher real quick, since hed lived here before the bunkhouse had been ready and he knew where everything went.

Once hed done that and added another load, he went back to the living room. Hed just collect the remainder of the glasses and then Monica wouldnt have to do anything.

Oh.

Gabe glanced toward the sound. Monica stood at the bottom of the stairs, and he couldnt read her expression or begin to understand what that oh had meant.

Got most of it done. Just these left.He ignored the glasses hed been going for and moved toward the door. I was getting ready to head out though.

Monica shook her head, grabbing her glass of wine and refilling it with the last of the bottle. Stay. Have a drink with me.

Gabe watched her suspiciously. Why?

She plopped herself onto the couch, staring at the fire instead of back at him. Because otherwise Im going to sit here and wallow about the passage of time. Id rather bicker with you.

Hed regret ithe knew hed regret itand yet he couldnt seem to resist. Much as he hated to admit it, he wasnt tired enough to sleep instead of wallow.

He was at least smart enough to take a seat in the armchair instead of next to her on the couch. And he was not about to drink any more.

So, why arent you with your family?she asked with no preamble.

Family. Funny word, that. Still, he didnt wince. He knew hed be asked. He had his rote answers prepared. They live all the way on the other side of the country.

I do believe they have these things called airplanes.

Really? Havent heard of them.

Her mouth curved, and she looked different in the flickering firelight. Fragile almost, where usually she looked impossibly sturdy and strong.

Why arent you with yours?

My parents are on a cruise celebrating their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.She smiled fondly, but it died quickly. Colins other grandparents dont much care for us. Well, that isnt fair. We remind them of Dex, and theywell, I suppose they havent fully dealt with their grief. Im not sure I can blame them. Im not sure all the therapist training in the world would help me if I ever lost…” She shook her head. See? Morbid wallowing. I dont want it. Say something obnoxious.

Marines are pussies.

She barked out a laugh, then covered her mouth, presumably since there were people sleeping upstairs.

She had a good laugh. Loud and uninhibited. Hell, he needed a beer.

My dad is not a pussy,she said, sounding far more amused than offended.

Gabe shrugged. Im sure he doesnt think so.

Monica shook her head. Shed worn her hair down today, which she rarely did. In the firelight, it was tinged red, and seriously, he had to get his ass out of this chair and get a beer.

But he sat. And he watched her.

She cleared her throat, holding the wineglass with both hands, staring hard at the fire in the fireplace. The dogs had disappeared at some point when hed been cleaning, so it really was just him and Monica.

I know I dont owe you any explanation about how I treat my son, butwell, youre very good with him. He looks up to you. All three of you really, and its good for him to have you three as influences in his life. But he seems to be particularly connected to you.

Everything in him tensed, chilled. That careful tone of voice, the way she wouldnt meet his gaze. He knew what came next. Hed been here before, hadnt he? And you want me to stay away?

No, not at all.She frowned, her gaze all shock and confusion as it met his. Why would you think that?

Gabe looked down at his hands. He hadnt realized hed gripped them both into tight fists, but there they werewhite knuckled and clenched. He tried to come up with some explanation, but in the end, his scratchy voice just managed some lame excuse. Im not his dad.

No, but he needs people of all stripes in his life, people wholl teach him different things and offer him different opportunities. He needs people to look up to because he feels a connection. Ill always be a shade too overprotective. Ive worked through some of it, butDex died…”

He unclenched his fists and placed his hands on the arms of the chair, ready to push out of it. You dont have to explain it to me.

But I want to. I want you to understand. Youre a part of Colins life.She said it so seriously, so baldly. None of her usual therapist carefulness in picking the words. He knew better than to look, but he couldnt seem to help himself.

She was staring at him, emotion written all over her face. An earnestness, a hope, and, underneath all that, lovelove for her son.

Gabe was somehow rendered speechless by that, and he was never, ever speechless.

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Buy Links
Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of COWBOY SEAL REDEMPTION

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Nicole Helm grew up with her nose in a book and a dream of becoming a writer. Luckily, after a few failed career choices, a husband, and two kids, she got to pursue that dream. Nicole writes down-to-earth contemporary romance. From farmers to cowboys, midwest to the west, she writes stories about people finding themselves and finding love in the process. When she’s not writing, she spends her time dreaming about someday owning a barn. She lives with her husband and two young sons in Missouri. She is slightly (okay, totally) addicted to Twitter (@nicolethelm), the St. Louis Cardinals, and someday owning a barn.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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RWA 2018 Celebration Giveaway & Author Spotlight

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I wanted to spotlight some authors I met at the Romance Writers of America Blogger Social. They were all so nice and a lot of fun. What better way to thank them for their smiles and laughter than a giveaway! /Donna

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Giveaway

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PRIZE PACK includes 7 books. One paranormal and the others are a mix of contemporary and romantic suspense. Plus enough swag to fill the box. Winner will be chosen Sunday (8/26) by 6PM EST.

★☆ENTER ON FACEBOOK PAGE HERE★☆

*Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway.

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B8F25C96-E09C-4974-A9CC-E52472B36597LISA OLECH! Her Captains of the Scarlet Night series is full of sexy pirates, and her Stoddard Art School series carries that sexy theme into contemporary romances.

Lisa is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book, finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in a tuxedo, and happy endings.

Amazon Link

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DBAFE1E4-3A60-4368-A0DD-41D424A8079CTARA WYATT, and all I can say is that her smile lit up the room. She was so much fun to talk with, especially when talking about her steamy romantic suspense books. Her latest, Stripped, came out in May (can you say male strippers?).

Tara Wyatt is a contemporary romance and romantic suspense author. Known for her humor and steamy love scenes, Tara’s writing has won several awards, including the Golden Quill Award and the Booksellers’ Best Award. In addition, she is a 2018 RITA® Finalist for her novella, Until the Sun Sets.

Tara has been writing since 2013, and her first book, NECCESSARY RISK, was published in 2016. Since then, she’s written three more books, three novellas, and has co-written three books, with many more projects in the works.

When she’s not hanging out with your next book boyfriend, she can be found reading, watching movies, and drinking wine. Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the world’s cutest dog and a husband who makes all her of her heroes look like chumps.

Amazon Link

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171B6CD2-68EC-477B-983B-907912BE8898AVRIL TREMAYNE is well known for her romantic comedies. Her newest book, GETTING LUCKY, is a sizzling hot contemporary romance that came out August 1st. She was so much fun to talk to.

Avril Tremayne took the scenic route to becoming a writer, having tried her hand at shoe selling, nursing, teaching and public relations. Along the way, she also studied acting, singing, pottery, oil painting, millinery, German and Arabic – with very mixed results. She figures it’s a perfect background for telling romantic stories. She is a committed urbanite, and lives in Sydney, Australia, where her husband and daughter try to keep her out of trouble – not always successfully. When she’s not writing or reading, Avril can generally be found eating – although she does not cook – drinking wine, and obsessing about shoes!

Amazon Link

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9F62E9F6-6F17-476C-958B-B7D587E9C0C6KATY LEE writes for Love Inspired Suspense, with a lot of stories to choose from. She is a sweetheart to the core!

Katy Lee is a RITA nominated romantic suspense author. Her award-winning stories thrill, inspire and satisfy the reader–from the edge of their seat. A native New Englander, Katy loves to knit warm wooly things. She enjoys traveling the side-roads and exploring the locals’ hideaways. A homeschooling mom of three competitive swimmers, Katy often writes from the stands while cheering them on.

Amazon Link

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EVELYN ADAMS is the author of some steamy, sexy novels. Her Southerland Security series has received rave reviews, as did her contemporary selections. She sure has some stories to tell!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Evelyn Adams lives in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her three children, a handful of wayward animals and the man of her dreams. If she’s not writing steamy romances, she’s chasing kids, gardening or reading other authors’ steamy stories.

Amazon Link

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8CB8374F-1904-4A56-B354-A5FADA4B0AEDHANNAH MEREDITH is a historical romance author. She writes Regency, Victorian and has come out with a Fantasy romance as well. I loved her laughter!

Hannah Meredith is, above all, a storyteller. She’s long been fascinated by the dreams that haunt the human heart and has an abiding interest in English history. This combination led her to write historical romance. She hopes you enjoy her tales.

Amazon Link

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Credit: Mark Oxley/Studio 16

JAMI GOLD is an award winning and bestselling author of paranormal romance. Her Mythos Legacy series has it all, dragons, faerie and unicorns. She was so much fun to talk to.

After an allergic reaction thwarted her attempt to find Atlantis, Jami Gold moved to Arizona and decided to become a writer, where she could put her talent for making up stuff to good use. Fortunately, her muse, an arrogant male who delights in causing her to sound as insane as possible, rewards her with unique and rich story ideas.

Fueled by chocolate, she writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales that range from dark to humorous, but one thing remains the same: Normal need not apply. Just ask her family–and zombie cat.

Amazon Link

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664372CA-C3F4-423A-AD0C-7EFF20203229BRONWYN SCOTT’s newest release in her Russian Royals of Kuban series, Seduced by the Prince’s Kiss, comes out in September. Bronwyn Scott writes historical romances for Harlequin, Mills and Boon. She has over forty titles currently in print with them. Bronwyn’s 2009 novel, The Viscount Claims His Bride was a RomCon finalist for best short historical, as was her 2011 release, A Thoroughly Compromised Lady. Bronwyn enjoys learning foreign languages, traveling, and history.

Amazon Link

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: BRAVE NEW EARL (The Way to a Lord’s Heart) by Jane Ashford

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BRAVE NEW EARL (The Way to a Lord’s Heart Series) by Jane Ashford

Publication Date: July 31, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

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9781492663355_bravenewearlAn Earl mired in melancholy is no match for a determined woman… 

Widower Benjamin Romilly, Earl of Furness, has given up hope of finding happiness. His wife died in childbirth five years ago, leaving him with a broken heart and a child who only reminds him of his loss.

Miss Jean Saunders is a cousin by marriage. She doted on Benjamin’s late Countess, and can’t bear it when she hears rumors that the Earl is too bereaved to care for his young son. She arrives on the scene to evaluate his fitness as a father, and if necessary, to take his son away.

Jean’s sudden eruption into the Earl’s household simultaneously infuriates and invigorates him. She may be the only person who can breathe life into his neglected home—and his aching heart…

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Toward the far end of the attic, Jean came upon a row of leather trunks bound in brass. Resettling her lamp securely, she opened the first. The scent of camphor wafted out at her. Pushing aside a layer of tissue paper, she unearthed a swath of satin brocade in an exquisite shade of peach. Although the fashion of another era, it was one of the loveliest gowns she’d ever seen.

There was no one around, and she was so tired of the few outfits she had with her. She couldn’t resist. She slipped off her much plainer gown, placing it out of the dust on a sheet of tissue, and slithered her way into the peach creation.

The dress was a bit large on her. Fortunately, it laced up the side so she could reach to pull it tighter, but the shoulders still threatened to slip off. Her shift and stays showed above the low neckline, and without the elaborate underpinnings such a garment required, the skirt sagged around her in heavy folds. Even so, she felt very grand.

“Very elegant,” said an appreciative male voice.

Jean whirled and nearly lost the dress. She frowned at Lord Furness, who stood near the head of the attic stair, as she pushed the shoulders back into place. “What are you doing here?”

“This is my house.”

“Yes, but you went riding.”

“And I returned.” Benjamin strolled toward his disheveled houseguest. In his ancestress’s gown, Miss Saunders was an unsettling combination of little girl playing dress-up and lush courtesan, with her clothes falling off and her curling hair making a determined break for freedom.

She gathered the heavy skirts and retreated to a rank of trunks a little distance away. “I was just… I’ll put on my own gown.”

Benjamin walked a bit closer.

“If you will go away.”

“But I came up to help you look for toys for Geoffrey.” It was an increasing delight to tease her. There was something so charming about the look she got, which said she knew precisely what he was up to and refused to stoop to acknowledge it. And yet she couldn’t help but react.

“I haven’t found any.”

“Only a hoard of finery.” Benjamin walked along the row of trunks and glanced inside them. He picked up a satin coat. “I think I remember my grandfather wearing something like this, with lots of lace at his shirtfront. Perhaps it was this very coat.” He held it up and looked closer. “I’m not sure. He died when I was around Geoffrey’s age.” He smiled at his disheveled companion. “Grandpapa didn’t care much for change at the last. Or for what people thought of his appearance. He wore what he liked.” Geoffrey would have appreciated that attitude, Benjamin thought. “He had a dueling scar across his cheek.” His hand went to his own face to demonstrate. “A bit puckered and quite frightening, as I recall. They don’t seem to go together—all this frippery and bloody swordwork.”

“I imagine gentlemen took off their coats when dueling,” replied Miss Saunders.

Benjamin laughed.

“You should try it on,” she added in an odd tone.

He looked at her, hands clutching the brocade bodice to keep it from sliding off, a beam of sunlight shining through the uninhibited glory of her hair. Holding her gaze, Benjamin slowly took off his coat. “No wigs,” he said. “I draw the line there.”

“I haven’t found any,” she answered breathily.

He donned the bright satin garment. It fit well enough, only a little tight in the shoulders. It felt strange to have wide skirts around his legs. He made an elaborate bow. “Pon rep, my lady, I am so pleased to see you. I hope I find you in better health?”

“What do you mean, better?”

Benjamin straightened. Ive been concerned about you since—

“I’m fine,” she interrupted. “My…outburst in the library was quite uncharacteristic, I assure you. It won’t happen again.”

“No apology is necessary.”

“I wasn’t apologizing.” Coppery glints snapped in the depths of her eyes. “Only informing you that all is well.”

He didn’t believe her, though he couldn’t have said why. Her bearing and expression were calm, her manner quelling. Clearly, she didn’t want to talk about the bout of weeping, and he had no right to press her. Why should he wish to? “I don’t know how ladies moved about in those gowns.” He indicated the sweep of peach brocade trailing over the floorboards.

“With stately elegance,” she replied.

“That is to say, very slowly. Have you seen the sort of shoes they wore? Teetering along on four-inch heels must have made it hard to run away.”

“From what?” she asked with a quizzical glance.

“Anything.” Benjamin had spoken randomly. All his attention was on her, leaving his tongue unsupervised. “Bears.”

“Bears?” She laughed.

It was a delightful sound. Benjamin realized he hadn’t heard it nearly often enough. Irresistibly drawn, he stepped closer. “Or impertinent admirers.”

“The gentlemen wore heels, too,” Miss Saunders said. “So it would have been an equal race, mincing along the cobblestones in a satin-draped procession.”

She looked up at him, still smiling. Her eyes were suffused with warmth now, her lips a little parted, and Benjamin couldn’t help himself. He moved closer still and kissed her.

Just a brush of his mouth on hers, an errant impulse.He pulled back at once.

She leaned forward and returned the favor, as if purely in the spirit of experiment. Benjamin felt a startling shudder of desire.

In the next moment, she’d twined her arms around his neck, and they were kissing as if their lives depended on it. He buried his fingers in her hair, as he’d been longing to do for days. It sprang free and tumbled over his hands, a glorious profusion of curls. Hairpins rained onto the attic floor.

Then she pulled back and blinked at him, her eyes wide, dark pools. Her arms dropped to her sides. She took a step away, and another. “Oh.”

The small sound was a breath, a worry, anastonishment. Benjamin struggled with his arousal, glad now of the long, concealing coat.

Miss Saunders put her hands to her wild crown of hair. The lovely lines of her body were outlined in peach brocade and sunlight. “Oh dear.”

“I could help pin it up, if you like.” Benjamin bent and gathered a handful of hairpins.

“No, you couldn’t.”

He gave her the pins. “I have a deft hand,” he said.

“My hair is beyond deftness. It has to be wrestled into submission.”

He nearly lost his careful control at the phrase and the thoughts it elicited. “I have strong fingers.”

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KindleAmazon Paperback

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5 Copies of The Duke Knows Best

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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JANE ASHFORD, a beloved author of historical romances, has been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, and Spain, as well as the United States. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: A WOLF APART (The Legend of All Wolves) by Maria Vale

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A WOLF APART (The Legend of All Wolves) by Maria Vale

Publication Date: July 31, 2018 

Gesnre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

2A9821B7-2E59-4C07-9F50-2D31942A3D63Can a human truly make room in her heart for the Wild?

Thea Villalobos has long since given up trying to be what others expect of her. So in Elijah Sorensson she can see through the man of the world to a man who is passionate to the point of heartbreak. But something inside him is dying…

Elijah Sorensson has all kinds of outward success: bespoke suits, designer New York City apartment, women clamoring for his attention. Except Elijah despises the human life he’s forced to endure. He’s Alpha of his generation of the Great North Pack, and the wolf inside him will no longer be restrained…

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of THE LAST WOLF

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Excerpt

Elijah intentionally lost a challenge that would have brought him back to Homelands. He is battered inside and out and turns to Thea, a woman he doesn’thave any claim on. But she takes him in and cares for his injuries (“a fight” is all he tells her) and when a snowstorm moves in, he stays.  The peace he had hoped for turns to something else.

*****

“‘The great man’”—I try to remember the quotes and strip away the emendations that John made, altering them to our circumstances; “the great wolf” was what he actually said—“‘is the one who in the midst of the crowd’”—John said “of humans”—“‘keeps with perfect sweetness the stillness of the forest.’”

She stares at her book for a moment and then puts her finger on a passage.

“The quote is ‘keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.’ I like yours though.”

“My old English teacher loved Emerson. But I learned it a long time ago. Must have mixed it up.”

Of course, I didn’t. The summer before we were to go Offland, Leonora did her best to make sure that those of us who were leaving understood how to appear human in the world they had re-created in their image.

John tried to do something altogether more subtle and difficult. Whatever disguises we were wearing, he wanted to make sure that we preserved the Homelands within us. He wanted us to make sure that there was a place for the wild inside, even if there wasn’t a place for it anywhere else.

“You liked your English teacher?”

“What? My… Yes. Very much. He was more than an English teacher. He was kind of the…head of our little rural community. We’re very tight-knit, but tempers can run short. He worked hard to keep everyone together.”

She dunks the tea bag a few times before fishing it out with a spoon and, wrapping the string around it, squeezes it dry. “Was it worth fighting for?”

“I didn’t win, if that’s what you mean.”

“Not really. A good fight isn’t about the outcome. It’s about knowing that you’ve made things better by trying.”

Then I hear Victor’s voice. “You will win, Alpha,” he says. My one advocate with his sour, judgmental voice and his sour, judgmental face.

“Honestly, I don’t know if it was worth fighting for. I don’t know anything anymore. And no one seems to know who I am.”

When she blows across her tea, she sends the damp-orchid-and-honey scent to my waiting nose.

“Do you? Know who you are?”

“Of course, I do,” I snap, all the Pack’s skepticism and my own self-doubt suddenly brought to a head by this woman who doesn’t know me from Adam. Then I remember what she is. A woman. A human. “I am a partner in one of the most powerful law firms in the country.”

“You’re not just a lawyer, any more than I am just an ECO.”

“So what else would you say you are?”

“All sorts of things. I’m a woman who doesn’t listen to music in the background, because that’s not actually listening. Who is a vegetarian gun owner.Who makes her living helping people but likes to be alone. Whose ancestors were on this landmass when the people who yell at her to ‘go home’ were sleeping with pigs in Europe. Who likes caffeine and Cheetos. Who was in a sorority for four months. Who is the daughter of dead parents and the sister of a dead brother.

She lifts her tea to her lips.

“What happened to your family?”

“You’re changing the subject. I’m saying that I’ve never met anyone who was just one thing. Who was just ‘a lawyer.’ So, Elijah Sorensson, Esquire, what else are you?”

What else am I? I’m an exile. A disappointment. An Alpha without a Pack. A leader no one wants to follow. A flashy vessel hiding something unspeakably sacred and undeniably fragile. I am a monster: neither one thing nor the other, belonging nowhere.

“Lost,” I say, staring at the fire until my single working eye begins to dry out. “Just. Fucking. Lost.”

My throat feels achy and full, and I turn back to the page, pretending to read, because I feel her ironwood eyes on me, and I know what she sees: an angry, defensive, broken, defeated man in a human’s castoffs and with a wolf-ravaged, bruised-gourd face.

And then I feel something else. I feel Thea’s hand hanging loose between us. She has returned to her book, but the wordless invitation is there. The cabin being what it is, when I let my hand drape to the side of the bed, I’m close enough to touch her.

In the snow-muffled peace of no expectations, I stare sightless at the pages, every nerve focused on the shared heartbeat between our fingers.

When I finally look up from the blurred pages, the mottled fire is reflected in the warmth and welcome of her eyes. I can’t stop myself. I collapse to my knees, my head at her lap, my arm wrapped around her knees, silently asking if thiswoman who makes a living finding people can find me too.

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About the Author

2519C8DF-822E-41D5-9F32-6809592F1626Maria Vale is a journalist who has worked for Publishers Weekly, Glamour magazine, Redbook, the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a logophile and a bibliovore and a worrier about the world. Trained as a medievalist, she tries to shoehorn the language of Beowulf into things that don’t really need it. She currently lives in New York with her husband, two sons and a long line of dead plants. No one will let her have a pet. Visit her at https://www.mariavale.com/.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: BAD REPUTATION by Stefanie London

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BAD REPUTATION (Bad Bachelors) by Stefanie London

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

ACAA36A1-CD60-41B5-8822-C4B2F82E1743It’s true, Wes is well-endowed.

But everything else is a huge misunderstanding…

Wes Evans, son of Broadway royalty, just wants to achieve something without riding his family’s coattails. Too bad the whole world is talking about his sex life after the notorious Bad Bachelors app dubs him “The Anaconda”. But when he sees a talented ballet dancer, he knows she is exactly what he needs to make his show a success.

Remi Drysdale only had one thought when she fled Australia for New York—never mix business with pleasure again. Ever. Working with Wes is the perfect chance to reclaim her career. Remi promises herself not to tangle with the guy who holds her career in his hands…no matter how enticing his reviews are on the Bad Bachelors app.

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Excerpt

It’d been a heck of a long time since Wes had done anything close to dancing. These days, he favored going for a run through Central Park or chasing his niece around until they were both huffing and puffing. But muscle memory was a fascinating thing, and his body knew exactly what was required. He’d retained some of his fluidity, some of that strong posture and confident, graceful movement. All the things that allowed him to enter a room with a bang.

Most guys his age were monster trucks—big and powerful but clunky. Lumbering. Despite merciless bullying about his dancing when he was a kid, Wes knew it had been the very thing that made him who he was today. A sports car—smooth, stylish. A head turner.

Did that make him cocky? Hell yeah. But modesty didn’t get you anywhere. Not in this city, anyway.

Watching the instructor subtly raise a brow as he followed her steps had been enormously satisfying. She’d underestimated him. 

“Great job, class. We’ve got a few final stretches and then we’re done.” Miss Perky Instructor grinned at the students, the bright expression turning smoky when her eyes landed on him. “Take a port de bras up over your heads and then hinge forward. Touch the floor if you can.”

The first movement of her demonstration grabbed his attention, the gentle whisk of her hands above her head into that perfect port de bras shape. But when she bent forward, folding herself in half and thrusting her pert ass into the air, Wes’s lungs almost gave out. The woman was wildfire.

The floor-to-ceiling mirrors behind her gave him a perfect view of her long, shapely legs and sweet, heart-shaped butt. But he wasn’t only captivated by her gorgeous body—there was something about her movement too. A quiet musicality and grace that hinted at formal training. Perhaps not much, since Wes knew everyone in the New York ballet scene. Though she did have an accent.

“Uncle Wes,” Frankie hissed. “You’re supposed to be standing up.”

He grunted when a small but sharp elbow landed hard against his rib cage. “Sorry, Frankie.”

He righted himself, catching up to the group and enjoying the instructor’s delightful smirk. Busted! She knew he’d been checking her out.

When the class finished, Frankie raced off to change into her sneakers

“Thanks for being a good sport.” The instructor walked over, her feet ever-so-slightlyturned out and her hands brushing delicately by her sides. Yep, she’d definitely trained at some point. Talented too, he’d bet. “Even if you were unprepared.”

“You certainly kept me on my toes.”

“Was that a ballet pun?” She narrowed her eyes, the corner of her mouth fighting a smile.

“Definitely not,” he said with a mock-serious expression.

Because I really dont see the pointe of those. Its not that I have a bad attitude, but I need to set the barre higher than that.” A mischievous twinkle lit her dark eyes.

“That’s impressive.”

“Don’t even try to out-pun me. I’m like the Energizer Bunny with bad jokes.”

He chuckled. “What else you got?”

What animals are poor dancers?” She paused. “Four-legged ones, because they have two left feet.

“I’ll have to tell Frankie that one.”

“Actually, I’m pretty sure she told me that joke.” Remi shook her head. “Your niece has a great sense of humor.”

“It’s a family gift.” He pretended to brush something off his shoulder and was rewardedwith the tinkling sound of her laughter. Damn, that sound was straight out of heaven. “Good turnout and a passion for lame jokes.”

“That all?”

“Well, I have a few personal talents.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Such as?”

“I make a mean stir-fry. And my tendu was pretty damn spectacular, in case you didn’t notice.” He winked, barely able to keep a straight face.

“Oh, I noticed.” The words were fired back and forth lightning fast. Like fireflies zipping around them. “I’m Remi, by the way.” She stuck her hand out.

“Wes.” Her palm slid into his, and he closed his fingers around her hand. Judging by the quick flare of her nostrils, she felt the snap of electricity too. “I know all the ballerinas in New York, but I’ve never seen you before.”

“How lucky for all the ballerinas in New York.” Her voice was husky as she pulled her hand back, severing the crackling connection between them. “You got some kind of tutu fetish?”

“Yeah, I love that scratchy feeling.” He shoved his hands into his back pockets. “And nice job dodging the question, by the way. That’s some politician-level interview skills you got there.”

“I wasn’t aware I was being interviewed,” she replied with a smirk. “And if you watch the replay I think you’ll find you didn’t actually ask me a question.”

The exchange made him even more curious. “How come I haven’t met you already?”

“I’m not from around here, if you couldn’t tell.”

“New Zealand or Australia?” He cocked his head. “I won’t claim to know the difference well enough to pick a side.”

“Chicken,” she teased. “I’m an Aussie, born and bred. But I’m not a ballerina, which would explain why you don’t know me.”

Wes would bet his last dollar bill Remi was classically trained. He’d seen a lot of dancers come in and out of his parents’ school over the years, and if there was one thing he could spot with ease, it was the way a ballerina moved.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked.

“Just wondering why you’re lying to me.”

Remi blinked. “I’m not lying.”

“You said you weren’t a ballerina.”

“I said I’m not a ballerina,” she corrected. “Present tense.”

Ah, that explained it. He was tempted to argue that one never stopped being a ballerina, even if they weren’t training or performing anymore. But instinct told him it was a touchy subject. “Right.”

“You’ve got a good eye, though.”

He wasn’t sure if she was wary or impressed. “Decided it wasn’t for you?”

“Other way around.” Darkness flickered across her face, casting a shadow over her rich brown eyes. “Ballet decided I wasn’t right for it.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

5 Copies of BAD BACHELOR

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

0CDDA21A-25AA-4D17-B3C5-6F2C76247675Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romances with humor, heat, and heart. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Stefanie now lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband. She loves to read, collect lipsticks, watch zombie movies and drink coffee. Her bestselling book, Pretend It’s Love, was a 2016 Romantic Book of the Year finalist with the Romance Writers of Australia.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR by Linda Broday

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TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR (Texas Heroes, Book 3) by Linda Broday

Publication Date: July 3, 2018

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Synopsis

53614F0A-7BC4-48F6-9238-FDB8E5F55D28He’ll do what it takes to prove his love

The son of a notorious outlaw, Roan Penny yearns to make his life count…but heroism comes with a price. Left badly injured, only the kindness of a gentle stranger can save him. He longs to be with the captivating beauty—his savior, his Texas star, his Marley Rose McClain—but he knows he’d bring her nothing but trouble.

If only he could convince his heart of that.

Marley’s lived a charmed life, and she’s determined to spend the rest of her days at her quiet hero’s side…but she isn’t what she seems. A life-long secret threatens to destroy everything she knows—and everything she could hope to be. As dangerous men threaten to pull her back into the shadows, a desperate Roan must ride hell-bent for leather to save the other half of his heart…before he can lose her light for good.

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Excerpt

Unable to bear the torture, Roan whirled and crushed his lips to Marley’s.

A hunger so powerful that it hurt to breathe spread through him, rushing along his limbs and touching off a whirlwind inside him. He stood in the storm and let the emotion wash over his body, healing his ragged spirit and muzzling his fear.

A raspy moan escaped. His heart beating like a thundering herd of buffalo, he held Marley so tightly against him that he expected her to complain. If he could somehow open himself up and draw her inside, he would. He’d protect her with every bit of strength he had and carry the beautiful woman with him forever.

Dear, God, he wanted her. Wanted her more than anything in the world. His hands roamed over her curves, memorizing every indentation and soft swell. She seemed to be learning every inch of him as well, and the way she clutched, kneaded, and caressed him spoke of a great need of her own.

The air seemed to vibrate with this craving that swept through him. His senses filled with her, Roan deepened the kiss and backed her against a work table where they repaired harnesses and saddles. Tightening his grip, he lifted her onto the planks. She reached for him, knocking off his hat and it tumbled to the floor.

His heartbeat roared in his ears and drowned out everything except this overpowering desire for her.

How long they stood wrapped in each other’s arms, he didn’t know. He was barely conscious of where they were, or of the dawn breaking. Men and children would spill out any second and find them.

It took everything he had to break the kiss. He tenderly brushed a tendril of hair from her eyes and studied her dark eyes. “You’re like those shooting stars we watched. You blaze across a man’s life with such a streak of color and pageantry it steals a man’s breath. You’re my Texas star, Marley Rose McClain. That is if you don’t object to the title.”

His Texas Star. Yes, that’s exactly what she would always be.

Marley’s breath hitched. “That’s beautiful. I’ve never been compared to a shooting star before.”

“Well, you are. I don’t know what the future holds or if I’ll ever see you again,” he mumbled against her mouth. “Keep shining, Texas Star, for as long as you live.”

“I will.” Marley’s glistening gaze met his and she ran a fingertip along his jawline. “No promises, no regrets.”

“None.” The rooster finally crowed, reminding Roan he’d best hurry. “Maybe you’ll write a story one day about me and how you saved my life one frosty morn.”

Tears bubbled in her eyes. “You’d better come back or I’ll come looking for you.”

“You will, huh?”

“I’ll brave a den of snakes and go through a hail of bullets to get to you, and you can count on that.” Marley straightened his collar and picked a piece of lint from his coat. “You’re a handsome man, Roan Penny. Women are going to chase you, but it doesn’t mean you have to let them catch you.” Her voice broke.

Roan swallowed a lump in his throat. This was tearing him up inside.

With a cry, she tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled him close for another kiss.

“I’ll pray for you, Roan,” she whispered.

“Save your prayers for those who believe in their power.”

Before the banked fire had a chance to flare again, Roan stepped away from her and issued a stern warning. “Don’t come after me. I mean it. You don’t know the danger waiting in San Saba. If they knew I cared for you, they’d kill you. Promise you’ll stay here. You have topromise not to come after my sorry hide. Go on with your life.”

Marley shook her head, her dark eyes large in the low light. “I can’t do that.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of Knight on the Texas Plains

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Linda Broday_newAt a young age, LINDA BRODAY discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She resides in the Texas Panhandle and is inspired every day.

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