Spotlight & Giveaway: TOUGHEST COWBOY IN TEXAS by Carolyn Brown

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TOUGHEST COWBOY IN TEXAS (Happy, Texas #1) by Carolyn Brown

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Genre: Western Romance

Synopsis

Brown_ToughestCowboyInTexas_MMNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown’s begins an all-new series of rugged cowboys.

Last time Lila Harris was in Happy, Texas, she was actively earning her reputation as the resident wild child. Now, a little older and wiser, she’s back to run her mother’s café for the summer. Except something about this town has her itching to get a little reckless and rowdy, especially when she sees her old partner-in-crime, Brody Dawson. Their chemistry is just as hot as ever. But he’s still the town’s golden boy-and she’s still the wrong kind of girl.

Brody hasn’t had much time lately for anything other than ranching. Running the biggest spread in the county and taking care of his family more than keeps him busy. All that responsibility has him longing for the carefree days of high school—and Lila. She may have grown up, but he still sees that spark of mischief in her eyes. Now he’s dreaming about late-night skinny dipping and wondering how he can possibly resist the one woman he can never forget…

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Buy Links

Kindle http://amzn.to/2rGa7fs
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2pe9Lip
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qrZMYD
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2qyNDft

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Giveaways

Ten (10) mass market copies of TOUGHEST COWBOY IN TEXAS

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the author

Carolyn Brown Author bio picNew York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than sixty books.

Brown presently writes both women’s fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title and contemporary series. She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: GRAND SLAM by Heidi McLaughlin

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GRAND SLAM (The Boys of Summer, #3) by Heidi McLaughlin

Publication Date: May 23, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

McLaughlin_GrandSlam_TRWin the game. Lose your heart.

Everyone knows who I am and that I could have any female fan I want. That’s supposed to be the “perk” of playing left field for the Boston Renegades. But I don’t want just any woman; I want her.

She should be just another face in the crowd, but I can’t stop thinking about the one night we spent together-and her look of regret the morning after.

Because Saylor Blackwell is the kind of woman who haunts a man. Smart, sexy as hell, and one of the best managers in the business. She’s every ballplayer’s dream woman. And I’d do anything to make things right with her.

I’m done sitting on the bench when it comes to Saylor Blackwell. Time to swing for the fences.

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Excerpt

Whenever I wake up with a hangover, I often ask myself why I drank so much and promise that I’ll never do it again. That promise is something I’ve been breaking for the past few days, and up until now, I didn’t care.
I had hoped the booze would muddy my memory of last night, but it hasn’t. Every word she said, every expression she had, every punch to my chest to get me out of her apartment is crystal clear. I fucked up, and I don’t even know how. All I know is that the sobs I heard on the other side of Saylor’s door last night were enough to sober my stupid ass up.
For hours, I sat against her door, until a resident suggested I leave or they were going to call the police. If I hadn’t been arrested ear- lier, I probably would have encouraged them to dial Boston’s Finest. Another man might understand my plight. The woman that I want to be with kicked me out of her house, and while I probably deserved it, I didn’t want to leave until she stopped crying. I didn’t want to be the one to walk away in her time of need.
But as egos go—and believe me, mine is huge—I couldn’t let it get in the way any longer, so I walked my drunk ass back home with my tail between my legs, only to stay up all night while the booze wore off, knowing that I had to live with whatever I’d done to Saylor.
She’s the last person in the world who I want to hurt, and she’s the one person who can save me. Not only from a life behind bars, but from myself. When I’m with her, I’m a different person. The cocky son of a bitch whom everyone is used to doesn’t exist when she’s near me, and frankly, that is the man I like, or at least I used to. It’s easier being a fucking douche. It’s second nature to me and comes with the territory of being named one of the city’s most eligible bachelors.
Except when I’m with Saylor, I can be the man who hides in the shadow of that Travis Kidd. I can be the kind of man who doesn’t have to have a one-liner available or wink in order to get a phone number. When I’m with her, life outside of baseball starts to have a meaning, a fucking purpose.

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Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rBLtk9
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2qEZN8g
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qYu18y
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2rBmflS

Amazon Series Link: http://amzn.to/2qi3xf0

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Giveaway

Ten (10) free eBook downloads of GRAND SLAM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Heidi McLaughlin CREDIT Sara EirewHeidi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

Originally from Portland, Oregon and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland Westie/Mini Schnauzer, Jill and her brother, Racicot.

When she isn’t writing one of the many stories planned for release, you’ll find her sitting courtside during either daughter’s basketball games.

Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, is currently in production for a major motion picture.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Blog Tour, Q&A, Excerpt & Giveaway: JUST ONE TOUCH by Maya Banks

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JUST ONE TOUCH: A Slow Burn Novel by Maya Banks

Publication Date: May 23, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

JustOneTouch Cover#1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks continues her Slow Burn series with a suspenseful and sizzling story of a young woman who escapes a terrifying past… into a more uncertain future.

Raised in a strict religious cult since she was a young girl, Jenna has no connection to the outside world beyond vague flashes of memory that seem to be from another life. Memories she clings to when the cult leaders discover her extraordinary ability to heal-and punish her. Years held captive and forced to do the cult’s bidding have turned Jenna into a meek, timid woman…or so they think. In truth, she is merely biding her time, waiting for the perfect moment to escape.

When a terrified young woman tries to steal the SUV of Devereaux Security’s toughest recruit, Isaac’s anger quickly turns into a strange sort of protectiveness for the beautiful, bruised stranger. But when they are caught in a firestorm of bullets and Isaac is hit, he’s sure the end is near, until Jenna touches him and closes his wounds. As he tries to bring Jenna to safety, she refuses to tell him what danger haunts her or how she healed him, but Isaac vows to do whatever it takes to gain her trust…and her heart. Because with just one touch, Isaac knows he wants Jenna to be his–forever.

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Excerpt

“She’s mine, Dane. No one else’s. I told you I’d ask if and when I need backup or help. Until then, it’s better that none of you are associated with her or are seen anywhere near her. She risked everything to save me when I could have been no better than the assholes trying to get to her. She sealed her fate in that moment because I’m not going anywhere. I need time to hear her side and I have a feeling she’s not just going to volunteer any information about herself, so I’m also going to need time to gain her trust and I’m going to prove to her that she can trust me. I appreciate the offer. More than you know. But she isn’t a DSS client or assignment. She’s mine, and I’ll protect her with my life.”

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Describe yourself in five words or less.

Unorganized, melt-down prone, laid back, despise drama & conflict!

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

My Give A Damn is Broken

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

A cup of crushed ice

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I’m a complete homebody & enjoy hanging out at home with my family every chance I get. It’s rare for me to leave my house!

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

I love revealing information about various characters personalities and the closeness between them through dialogue. I also always look forward to writing the dark moment as I love me some angst!

What are your favorite types of stories to read?

I love stories that don’t feature a couple who spend the entire book apart or that focus on internal conflict. I much prefer to see the hero and heroine together on the page and to see them working together to overcome external conflict.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I absolutely love following up with characters from a previous story whether it’s including them as secondary characters in a newer book or writing a short novella that revisits them so readers can see them after the HEA.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I absolutely credit my readers with my success and my career. They, not me, are why I’ve been able to write close to 80 stories in the 11 years I’ve been writing.

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Buy Links

Kindle | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

($50 Amazon Gift card and copies of the Slow Burn Series Books 1 – 4.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the Author

imageMaya Banks is a #1 USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, Scottish historical romances. She is the author of the Breathless Trilogy, the KGI novels, the Sweet series, and the Colters Legacy novels.

She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a Calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Excerpt Reveal: THE FARTHEST EDGE (The Honey Series) by Kristen Ashley

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THE FARTHEST EDGE (The Honey Series) by Kristen Ashley

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Genre: Erotica/ Contemporary Romance

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TheFarthestEdge_highresStep into the Honey Club, where every sensual boundary will be tested in search of the ultimate pleasure…

Branch doesn’t exist. Living off the grid, he’s looking for a way to forget his past and the guilt that plagues him. But no woman has ever been able to bring him to the edge he craves.

After a traumatic experience of her own, Evangeline stepped away from the decadent world of the Honey Club. But when she gets Branch’s offer—to play without boundaries or commitments—it’s too tempting for her to refuse.

As their passion ignites, Evangeline and Branch push each other to their farthest limit, fulfilling their darkest desires while falling harder and deeper than they ever imagined.

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Excerpt

Aryas knew her.

He knew what she liked.

He knew how she played.

He knew exactly what would make her squirm in her seat.

And he knew precisely how long it had been since she’d had her kink.

“You’re throwing down the gauntlet,” she accused quietly.

“You feel like picking up the glove?” he shot back, shaking the piece of paper at her.

She stared into Aryas’s eyes.

No strings.

Anything she wanted to do to get him off.

When he was done with her, he’d vanish from her life.

Her gaze dropped to the paper.

“Be you, and we’ll make it interesting, lay five grand on that fucker, he’ll give you one go and then he’ll move on,” Aryas pushed, but it was a dare.

She looked back at him.

A dare.

Yes, he knew her.

“No reflection on you and your skills, which are sublime, my beautiful baby.” He grinned wicked grin. “Just that this guy is unbreakable. There’s no edge for him any Domme can get anywhere near to push him off and that’s what he’s looking for. Being taken to the farthest edge and shoved right the fuck over.”

Taken to the farthest edge.

Evangeline was not into that. She wasn’t into extreme. Not like many who were into that in the life.

No, the edges she coasted were exactly what Aryas wasn’t quite saying, but she read this guy couldn’t handle.

Unless he had the right Mistress to lead the way.

Damn it all, she was getting wet.

“Five grand?” she snapped.

Aryas pressed his lips together and she was too peeved to get more peeved that he did it to suppress his amusement.

He unpressed them to confirm, “Five grand. But Leenie, babe, just to get it straight, he walks away from you at first meet, we’re even. It’s only if you get a crack at him the bet is on.”

She lifted her nose at the same time she snatched the paper from his hand, declaring, “He won’t walk away.”

“He might,” Aryas said gently, and his sudden loss of humor and careful tone made her focus on him again. “Beware of that. He’s done it before. In some ways, he doesn’t give a shit about anything. In some ways, he can be frustratingly choosy.”

“If I want him, he walks away, I’ll still get him,” she announced.

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Buy Links

Kindle $3.99 | Amazon Paperback $10.87

Amazon Series Link

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TFE Banner

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Kristen Ashley PicKristen 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.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Spotlight, Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: DATING THE UNDEAD by Juliet Lyons

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DATING THE UNDEAD (Undead Dating Service, #1) by Juliet Lyons

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

CVR Dating the UndeadWOMAN SEEKING VAMPIRE:
Likes to keep things casual
Absolutely no poetry
Zero romance required.

Silver Harris is over clingy men—maybe men altogether. But when she shares a toe-curling kiss with a sexy Irish vampire on New Year’s Eve, she wonders if maybe it’s human men she’s fed up with. Silver turns to the popular vampire dating site, V-Date, only to discover that vampire men are just as unimpressive as their mortal counterparts. And her mysterious hottie? He’s nowhere to be found.

Can’t a girl catch a break?

Logan Byrne can’t get that sassy redhead—or that kiss!—out of his head. When his boss assigns him to spy on V-Date, he meets Silver again. Turns out, the police are recruiting humans to snitch on vampires through the dating site. As the snark and sparks fly, feelings between Silver and Logan deepen. But, when old demons resurface—literally—Logan isn’t sure he can shield either of them from the dangers that have been lying in wait for centuries.

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Excerpt

I freeze in terror. What a waste of Dad’s money those self-defense classes turned out to be.
“Silver, it’s just me,” a lilting Irish voice says at my ear, the hand dropping from my shoulder.
I turn around to find myself nose to nose with my vampire from New Year’s Eve, his bright green eyes piercing mine.
I’m struck by several conflicting emotions all at once—anger, relief, and in a tiny measure—happiness. Anger wins out. On impulse, I slap him hard across the face, pointing with a white, clenched hand to the garden I’ve just sprinted across.
“I thought I was about to be murdered, asshole,” I hiss through my teeth. “I ripped my coat. My heels are ruined. All because you thought it might be fun to follow me home.”
He smirks, nonplussed, sliding his hands into the deep pockets of his navy pea coat. “I wasn’t following you,” he says, eyes twinkling.
“Oh, that’s right,” I say, voice dripping with sarcasm. “You were just walking me home again. Except this time from fifty yards behind and without me knowing.”
Before he has a chance to reply, the front door flies open and my landlady Vera emerges in a long, silky, oriental dressing gown. She is wigless for once, a Pucci scarf twisted into a makeshift turban covering her head. In her right hand, she holds a meat cleaver.
“Step away, you rapist bastard!” she yells, holding the large knife shakily aloft.
I glare at the vampire, expecting him to either throw his hands in the air or take a step backwards. Instead his brows knit together and his mouth drops open. “Etta Marlow?” he asks, staring at her as if she just walked on water.
The meat cleaver lowers a fraction. “What’s it to you?” Vera demands, her voice losing some of its previous menace.
I roll my eyes. Of course he remembers her. He’s probably seen all her films.
“It is you!” he erupts, wagging a finger in her direction. “You’re Etta Marlow! You played Susie De Sousa in Girl Uptown with Gregor Lane. I love that movie.”
The meat cleaver drops, forgotten, to her side as she pats her turban, eyelashes fluttering. “Fancy you recognizing me,” she mutters happily.
“Excuse me, Vera,” I interject, “but there’s still a potential rapist on your doorstep here.”
Vera looks back to the vampire, who shakes his head, smiling. “A misunderstanding, Etta. I was making sure Silver here made it home safely. She got the wrong end of the stick.”
Vera, or Etta as she was once known, glances over at me. “Do you know this charming fellow, dear?”
I scowl at them both. “Well, yes, but— “
“Well then, you must come in, dear boy. I could show you my Oscar, if you like?”
The Vampire looks as if he’s about to pee himself with excitement. “You mean the one you got for Days Like These with Vic Stevens?”
She holds out a thin hand towards him, gold bangles jangling on her wrist. “The very one, dear. Come, come in.”
I watch, stunned, as he takes her hand, green eyes lit up in excitement.
Before stepping through the door, he hangs back. “Ms. Marlow, I’m afraid it’s only courteous to let you know before I enter that I’m not human. I’m a vampire.”
Vera’s tinkly laugh echoes around the street like a bicycle bell. “Oh, you’re so sweet. Didn’t you know I’ve met dozens of vampires? They’re two a penny in Hollywood, darling.”
Following her across the threshold, he flashes the cockiest of grins. “Coming, Silver?”
My jaw drops in disgust. I’m tempted to sulk off to my basement flat, but instead, I trail after them and slam the door.
We follow Vera along an elegant gold and cream hallway into her immaculate, monochrome front room. Even though I’ve been here on numerous occasions, I’m always mesmerized by the sheer extravagance of the place—buttery white leather sofas, cream fur rugs, one wall is painted black and white to resemble piano keys. It should look tacky, but somehow, it works.
“You two make yourselves at home whilst I go and make myself presentable.” Vera says. “Then I’ll dig out that old Oscar of mine.”
I know, of course, the Oscar will not have to be ‘dug’ out of anywhere. It’s always on display in the den, alongside her film stills and other memorabilia.
“I didn’t catch your name,” she croons to the vampire before she leaves.
He puts a hand on his chest. “Forgive me, I should have introduced myself. Between the meat cleaver threat and getting slapped by Silver here, I seem to have forgotten my manners. I’m Logan. Logan Byrne.”
For strange and unfathomable reasons, my stomach flips. Logan. It suits him.
“Charming,” Vera says. “Don’t you go anywhere, Mr. Byrne.”
As soon as Vera disappears from the room, Logan collapses into one of the white leather arm chairs and puts his crossed feet onto the cut glass coffee table.
I’m still standing, one brow arched, arms folded across my chest. “So, Logan,” I hiss. “What the hell is this?”
He grins, dimples putting in their first appearance of the night as he gazes up at me. “Did anyone ever tell you, you’re particularly beautiful when you’re angry?”
“Oh, cut the crap,” I say, ignoring the hot flush climbing my neck. “Why did you follow me?”
“Like I told Etta, I wanted to make sure you got home safely, that’s all. Though I’m a little confused as to why you have three houses.” He holds up fingers to count. “The one I left you at on New Year’s, the one Nathaniel dropped you at, and now this—cohabiting with an aged 1940’s screen siren.”
“It’s none of your business,” I say, chin in the air. “And anyway, how do you know Nathaniel?”
He shrugs. “I know most of the vampires in London.”
I humpth. “I bet you do.”
In the blink of an eye, he is towering over me, face inches from mine. I inhale his clean, masculine scent like a drowning person coming up for air, and as he leans closer, I find myself gravitating towards him—a flower reaching for sunlight.
He pulls the collar of my coat aside and peers into the gap. As his fingers brush my jaw, an uncontrollable shiver zings through me. I disguise it by stepping out of reach and batting his hand away.
“He did a messy job on your neck,” he says, in a low voice.
“What’s it to you?” I snap.
Before I realize what’s happening, he closes the gap between us. One hand cupping my cheek, he bends over, lips brushing the place Nathaniel bit me, tongue gently swiping the puncture holes.
“That should stop the bleeding,” he says, pulling away. “But you’ll still have a bruise in the morning.”
I rub my neck and look at my fingers. No blood. “So, you can heal wounds? Just another of your unique skills along with beating up drunk men and following young women home for kicks?”
He sinks back into the armchair. “You’re a sexy girl, Silver. I’m glad we’ve met again.”
I snort incredulously, trying, without success, to forget the warmth of his hand on my face. “Well, you certainly made sure we did.”
“And of course,” he continues, pretending to examine a photo on the coffee table. “I’m hugely flattered I’ve managed to turn your head towards my kind.”
“You didn’t turn anything,” I say tartly.
He cocks a brow, gaze burning through my clothes like a laser. I feel a sharp twitch between my legs, as though he’s controlling my private areas by some invisible string. “Are you sure about that?”

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Dating the Undead Spotlight Graphic

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Cori 4 Stars

This was such a fun read! DATING THE UNDEAD is the first book in Juliet Lyons new paranormal series, The Undead Dating Service Series. The series title tells readers exactly what it’s about, a dating service for vampires and humans. I really enjoyed this one. It was a fun and sexy romance that had me smiling, rooting for the characters and flipping the pages. I’m adding this author to my buy list and I’ll be grabbing the next book when it releases.  I recommend this series for paranormal lovers looking for a fun new vampire series.

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

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Author Guest Post

10 Ways to Tell if Your Date is Actually a Vampire

  1. They only want to meet at night, using the excuse that they’re not ‘a morning person’.
  2. On a date to the beach, you catch them harassing the lady in the mini mart to check the stock room for Hawaiian Tropics factor 500.
  3. When you get a papercut, they’re oddly excited.
  4. They’re still not over their ex. Even though the latter has been dead for two hundred years.
  5. Every time you mention a church wedding they recoil in horror*.
  6. They often refer to Eric from True Blood as someone who ‘has their shit together.’
  7. They drink a lot of red wine, but never seem drunk. Wait—is that actually wine?
  8. They have pale, flawless skin despite the fact you’ve never once seen them cleanse and/or moisturise.
  9. When watching any kind of sporting event, they constantly scoff and sneer at the athletes. ‘Please! Is that the best they can do?’
  10. They are particularly keen to remind you that the neck is a top five erogenous zone…

*Does not necessarily mean they are a vampire. Mortals—particularly males—are also prone to behaving in this way.

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Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Alibris

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Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 10 copies of DATING THE UNDEAD by Juliet Lyons

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Juliet 2 web_ photo by Sharan Rai PhotographyJULIET LYONS is a paranormal romance author from the UK. She holds a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies and works part-time in a local primary school where she spends far too much time discussing Harry Potter. Since joining global storytelling site Wattpad in 2014, her work has received millions of hits online and gained a legion of fans from all over the world. When she is not writing, Juliet enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Wattpad

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: NOTHING LIKE A DUKE by Jane Ashford

IMG_8268 NOTHING LIKE A DUKE (The Duke’s Sons, #4) by Jane Ashford

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

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9781492621652-PRHe wants her.
She has no intention of wanting him.
But even Flora has to admit…
There’s nothing like a Duke.

Lord Robert Gresham has given up all hope that the beautiful and independent Flora Jennings will ever take him seriously. He heads to an exclusive country house party to forget about the beauty haunting his thoughts.

Too bad the lady in question has no intention of being forgotten.

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NLAD Spotlight

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A protruding bit of bramble caught the side of Flora’s pelisse. She twisted to reach for it, and a whole raft of briars shifted with her, entangling the other side of her skirts, her right arm, and the brim of her bonnet. If she pulled away, it would rip the cloth. She struggled a little; more thorns dug in. “Blast it, I suppose you were right, you wretched dog,” she exclaimed, and discovered that Plato was gone.
Flora lifted a hand to free her hat. The movement tipped another part of the bush, which swayed and seemed to grab at her. A second branch lodged in her bonnet. She felt several claw at her back. A stem lashed across her neck. That one drew blood. She tried to step back, and was pricked by more thorns, through her clothes, from all directions.
Flora went very still. She saw that the path petered out just ahead. Or perhaps this hadn’t been a path at all, but merely a deceptive opening in the vegetation. She hadn’t been paying attention. She tried again to move. She was trapped in a sea of briars. The thorns were long and wickedly barbed. They pricked the skin of her neck, her arm, her back, her side.
She became aware of a rustling in the leaves near her feet. What next? The badgers? Snakes? No, of course not snakes. It was far too cold.
A small black-furred head poked through an opening at the base of the briars. Evading the thorns with no visible effort, Plato emerged and stared up at her. “Oh, you’re back, are you?” said Flora. He sat down at her feet. “Come to gloat? Point out that if I’d followed you, I wouldn’t be in this predicament?”
Plato looked at her. Not judgmentally, because that was impossible.
“Go fetch help,” commanded Flora. The dog didn’t move. “Some clever gardeners. A footman from the house. Anyone. Go!”
“Plato? Where are you, you dratted animal?” called a voice nearby.
“Lord Robert?” she called.
There was a short silence. “Flora?”
“Yes. I’ve, ah, become entangled in some brambles. Plato doesn’t appear to care in the least. Or, actually, he’s staring at me as if it was all my fault.” She frowned down at the dog. “Does he ever blink? He’s really a bit uncanny, don’t you—”
Robert appeared on the path. “Good God!” He started forward.
“Be careful! It’s very easy to get caught. If you touch one branch, the whole mass moves.”
“I see.” He examined the arching stems. “You really are caught, aren’t you?” His lips twitched.
“If you laugh, I’ll…make you sorry,” Flora promised. Plato made one of his odd grumpy gargling sounds. “And you! I’ll find a badger and hand you over to him.”
Robert choked. “So, would you say you’re in need of rescue?”
“Just get me out!”
Robert moved a few steps closer. He could see that the thorns had barbs like fishhooks, ready to rip and tear if not removed very carefully. There was a trickle of blood on Flora’s neck. After a moment of calculation, he eeled between two branches. He had to stop once and detach thorns from his sleeve before he reached her side.
“These things are diabolical,” she said. “When I turned to pull loose, they seemed to…sort of lunge at me.”
“Stay very still.”
“I know!” She let out a huff of breath. “I beg your pardon. This is…rather irritating.” She smiled an apology.
Robert felt a catch in his chest, as if his heart had stumbled briefly. “Right then. Move back, Plato,” he said. For once, the little dog obeyed him, slipping easily out to a more open spot.
He began on the closest branch, embedded in the skirts of Flora’s pelisse. He had to kneel to reach it properly. His knife was small for the tough fibers. The bush swayed as he sawed at the branch. A spray of thorns rasped across his hair, but didn’t catch hold.
Robert soon pricked his skin. There was no way to hold the branch still without being stuck, and he’d left his gloves indoors when he’d seen Plato shoot wildly out of the bushes and then go haring off again.
Blood made the blasted thing slippery. Robert got out his handkerchief, used it to wrap the branch, and went back to work. At last, he was through. The severed stem sprang back a little, he was glad to see, giving him a few inches of working room. He looked up. “One down,” he said with a smile.
The heated gaze he encountered went through him like a thunderbolt. He was suddenly acutely aware of his position, right in among her skirts. His shoulder rested against her thigh. The scent of her—flowery perfume and sheer female—enveloped him.
“You’ve hurt yourself,” she said.
“It’s nothing.” Intensely aroused, Robert eased to his feet. Flora smiled at him again. Her fierce blue eyes raked him. He knew, absolutely, that she was remembering their kisses.
The next branch was wrapped around her far sleeve. He had to press close to her to avoid the briars at his back as he reached for it. And stay there while he cut through the stringy fiber of the bramble. The feel of her—curve of breast and hip, her cheek resting on his chest—made him clumsier. At one point a thorn drove deep into the pad of his index finger, and he stifled an oath.
Flora was having trouble breathing. She could feel his heartbeat, so near her ear, accelerating in tandem with her own. She could feel his muscles shift against her as he cut at the brambles. If she looked up, carefully, she could see his face—handsome, intent. The lips that had thrilled her were only inches away. But she couldn’t move enough to offer her own again. She had to remain very still, plastered against him.

~*~*~*~

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Kindle http://amzn.to/2lHwsdX
Amazon Paperback http://amzn.to/2qXrHz1

Amazon Series Link  http://amzn.to/2q5wuxH

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Enter to win one of five Jane Ashford bundles!

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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.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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SALE BLITZ $0.99: EMERGENCY DELIVERY (Love Emergency) by Samanthe Beck

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EMERGENCY DELIVERY (Love Emergency #2) by Samanthe Beck

Publication Date: March 16, 2016

Synopsis

IMG_7701Madison Foley is determined to stand on her own two feet, no matter how wobbly her circumstances. Fate, however, keeps throwing her off balance, and then sending heroically hot paramedic Hunter Knox to save her.

She’s put men on the back burner until she gets her life on track.

But Hunter’s got other plans.

Decisions. Decisions.

**Can be read as a stand alone**

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Buy Links

$0.99 Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

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~*~*~PRE-ORDER NEXT RELEASE~*~*~

EMERGENCY ATTRACTION (Love Emergency) by Samanthe Beck

Publication Date: April 17, 2017

Synopsis

IMG_7702Ten years ago when Shane Maguire chose the Marines as his escape from some trouble of his own making, he only regretted one thing—leaving Sinclair Smith behind. Despite his best intentions, she ended up as the one that got away. Now he’s back, determined to reclaim everything he gave up, including Sinclair.

Sinclair is immune to Shane’s charms. She’s immune to stolen kisses behind the gym. And she’s definitely immune to that maneuver he did in the back seat of his car… Okay, maybe her hormones are susceptible, but she has absolutely no desire to risk anything on the bad boy who broke all his promises.

When a little emergency lands her at his mercy, he offers her a deal she can’t refuse. And this time, she’ll show Shane what it means to be left wanting…

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Excerpt

“Not a mark on the car.”
Shane turned and walked back to where Sinclair stood with her skirt caught in the car door. “Or you?”
Her chin came up as he drew near. “That goes without saying.”
“Does it?” He dropped his gaze, and took a slow tour of some territory he’d once been intimately familiar with, starting at her bare shoulders and continuing to where satiny skin disappeared beneath blue silk. “I remember finding some extremely creative places to leave marks.” He ran his finger along the neckline of her dress. “So you wouldn’t get in trouble. You didn’t need to be as cautious with me.”
“I”—she broke off and swallowed—“I don’t remember…”
Oh, yeah. She remembered. He took the gift bag out of her hand and set it on the roof of the Mercedes. “I’ll let you in on a little secret, Sinclair.”
“What?” The word barely qualified as a whisper.
“I’m still extremely creative.” With that, he dropped to his knee, and peered behind her.
Her hand smacked his shoulder. “What are you doing?”
“Seeing if I can find a creative solution to your little predicament.” The position gave him an up-close look at the tangle of her skirt in the car door, the torn seam that rendered the dress un-wearable—he turned his head slightly—aaand the tiny, lacy, black panties that left mouthwatering portions of her ass bare to his view. Without doing any sort of motive check, he let his cheek brush the smooth flesh.
Muscles quivered in response. The hand on his shoulder switched to the top of his head, but she didn’t push him away. He trailed his lips across her thigh, automatically following the line of her panties where it hugged her hip and arrowed around front.
Her shuddery exhale triggered his inhale. Her scent stormed his senses, achingly familiar, and dangerously arousing. The molecules infiltrated his brain, coated the back of his throat, and left him dizzy from need. Balancing before her on both knees, taking a hip in each hand, he slowly closed in on the sheer triangle covering the prize.
“Shane…”
He took another hungry inhale. The tip of his nose skimmed the lace. “Yes?”
Those slim fingers slid down until her palm cupped the back of his head. Her thighs parted. “Ye—”
A car alarm shattered the silence and broke the spell lust and memories had woven around them. She jerked away, shoved her skirt down, and glared at him. “That’s not part of our deal.”
He stood, intentionally taking up the space she’d tried to carve out for herself. “Don’t kid yourself, Sinclair. That’s always been part of our deal.”

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Amazon | iBooks | Additional Links

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About the Author

Samanthe Beck Bio picWine lover, sleep fanatic, and USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy contemporary romance novels, Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California, with her long-suffering but extremely adorable husband and their turbo-son, Hud. Throw in a furry ninja named Kitty and Bebe the trash talking Chihuahua and you get the whole, chaotic picture.

When not clinging to sanity by her fingernails or dreaming up fun, fan-your-cheeks sexy ways to get her characters to happily-ever-afters, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Surprise Release, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE PLAYBOY BACHELOR by Rachel Van Dyken

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THE PLAYBOY BACHELOR (The Bachelors of Arizona, #2) by Rachel Van Dyken

Publication Date: April 11, 2017

Synopsis

IMG_7682She’s no Sleeping Beauty. And he’s definitely no prince…

Margot McCleery could have lived her whole life without seeing Bentley Wellington again—her ex-best friend and the poster boy for Hot, Rich Man-Whores everywhere. But Margot’s whiskey-augmented grandmother “buys” Bentley at a charity bachelor auction, and now suddenly he’s at her door. Impossibly charming. Impossibly sexy. And still a complete and utter jackass.

Bentley’s just been coerced by his grandfather to spend the next thirty days charming and romancing the reclusive red-haired beauty who hates him. The woman he abandoned when she needed him the most. Bentley knows just as much about romance as he knows about love—nothing. But the more time he spends with Margot, the more he realizes that “just friends” will never be enough. Now all he has to do is convince her to trust him with her heart . . .

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Excerpt

“I’m writing a kissing scene!” she blurted, mentally kicking herself for screaming it in his face. “And the guy’s a complete jackass. Since my only experience with jackasses is you…” Her voice was shaky, just like her body. Could he tell how much she wanted him? How much she hated that her response was this—raw. “I-I figured you were the only one who could show me what it’s like.” Good one, Margot. Do you really have to sound so…desperate?
“What what’s like?”
“A kiss. From a jackass.”
“Got the jackass part.” He treaded water and then grabbed her by the arm and pulled her deeper into the pool until they were on the opposite end, his body pressed against hers. At least his eyes were still locked on her face. “And you’ve never been kissed?”
She rolled her eyes. “Not by someone like—”
“If you keep insulting me, this kiss won’t ever happen, Red.”
“Don’t call me that,” Margot whispered. Was she so weak that she’d forgive his abandonment for one kiss? “Please?”
“This kiss.” His calculated gaze didn’t make her feel any better about the situation. “How long does it need to be? How deep? Where do you want my hands?”
Margot’s mouth dropped open. “That’s not how kisses work! You can’t just map out the kiss. That takes all the romance out of it!”
“Oh, so you want romance?”
“Yes! No! I mean. I didn’t say that!” Her face flamed, and she sagged in defeat. Admitting she wanted romance kind of felt like she was on the losing end of the little battles they’d been having, like she was giving him an in. And if he got in, he’d only hurt her again.
“I was joking,” he said, just before his lips brushed hers. His tongue slid across her bottom lip and then sucked it for a few seconds before he slid it into her mouth and deepened the kiss.
Her lips softened beneath his gentle coaxing, and his hard thighs pressed against hers as a deep hunger awakened within her.
Oh, this was bad.
So bad.
And very, very good at the same time.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2p1exQv
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2om2Lgi
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2onF61j
iBooks: http://apple.co/2nZe3G1

THE BACHELORS OF ARIZONA SERIES
The Bachelor Auction, #1
The Playboy Bachelor, #2

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Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 10 free eBook downloads of The Playboy Bachelor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult, Regency, and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her husband, son, and their snoring boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

Website: http://bit.ly/2djDuzm
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2djEDXD
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Release Blitz: TWIST: A Dive Bar Novel by Kylie Scott

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TWIST: A Dive Bar Novel by Kylie Scott

Publication Date: April 11, 2017

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IMG_7664From New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott comes the second sizzling stand-alone novel in the Dive Bar series!

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot bearded bartender Joe Collins only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, fascinating, and pretty much everything he’s been looking for in a woman—except that she lives across the country. Soon they’re emailing up a storm and telling each other their deepest, darkest secrets…except the one that really matters.

When Alex pays Joe a surprise visit, however, they both discover that when it comes to love, it’s always better with a twist.

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Excerpt

“I wanted to talk to you a bit more about what happened between us online,” he said, his mouth a serious straight line. “How I came to use my brother’s profile.”
Ugh. “I’m pretty sure I found out everything I needed to know last night.”
“I didn’t mean to lie to you, Alex.”
“Once is a mistake.” I crossed my legs, kicking my black leather bootie back and forth. So I was a little aggravated. Sue me. “Months’ worth of e-mails is not. You could have introduced yourself to me, Joe, told me who you really were. You chose not to. Christ, no wonder you kept putting off meeting. I should have known something was wrong.”
“You’re right. I shouldn’t try to sell you excuses.” A big sigh from my “friend.” “Truth is, I’m not used to being the bad guy. Usually I’m the one cleaning up my brother’s messes.”
“Lucky me.”

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Buy Links

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

AMAZON SERIES LINK

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image imageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: TALK COWBOY TO ME by Carolyn Brown

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TALK COWBOY TO ME (Lucky Cowboys Book 4) by Carolyn Brown

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Genre: Western Romance

Synopsis

IMG_7089One cowboy. One cowgirl. One ranch.

Who will win the Double Deuce by the Fourth of July?

Adele O’Donnell knew that Double Deuce Ranch had to be hers the second she walked onto the property. Freshly divorced, she sees it as the perfect spot for her and the kids to start a new life. Remington Luckadeau was always a carefree playboy…until his suddenly orphaned nephews became his responsibility.

The Double Deuce Ranch would be the perfect place to raise two boys. But some fiery woman is fighting him for it, and Remington is not sharing-no matter how the sparks fly when he and Adele are together.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

The gleam in the old cowboy’s blue eyes and the way he rubbed his chin were Adele’s first clues that he definitely had something up the sleeve of his faded, old work shirt. He glanced first at her and then over at Remington Luckadeau.
She bit back a groan. The good old boys’ club was about to rear its head. They’d argue that ranching took brawn and muscle and that a woman couldn’t run the Double Deuce all alone, that women were respected in the ranching business these days, but when it came right down to it, he would feel better selling to a man.
No, sir!
She didn’t hold out any hope that the old toot would sell the ranch to her.
“Well, now.” Walter Jones gave his freshly shaven chin one more rub. “I expect we’ve got us one of them dilemma things, don’t we?”
That sly smile on Remington’s face said he already knew she would be going home empty-handed. With that mop of blond hair that kissed his shirt collar, those steel-blue eyes, and his chiseled face and wide shoulders—Lord have mercy—any woman would roll over and play dead to give him what he wanted.
But not Adele.
She wanted the Double Deuce, and she’d do whatever it took to get it so she could have a place to raise her daughters. Remington Luckadeau could spit on his knuckles and get ready for a fierce battle.
The Double Deuce Ranch was absolutely perfect in every aspect. The two-storied, four-bedroom house couldn’t have been better laid out for Adele and her two daughters, Jett and Bella. The acreage was big enough to make a living but small enough she could manage it on her own, for the most part. And it was close to her family—the O’Donnells over around Ringgold, Texas.
“You both want the ranch, but I can only sell to one of you. I talked to my lady friend, Vivien, about it. I talked to God about it before I went to sleep, and I talked to my old cow dog, Boss, about it this mornin’ before y’all got here.”
“And?” Adele asked.
“And not a one of them was a bit of help, so I don’t know which one of you to sell this place to any more than I did yesterday, after you’d both come and looked over the place and left me to think about it.”
Adele had known there was another person interested in the ranch. Walter had been up-front about that, saying he’d talked with Remington Luckadeau that morning and he was ready to meet Walter’s asking price.
“We can’t both buy it, so I guess you’ll have to make a decision,” Adele said.
Remington nodded.
***
Remington slid down in the kitchen chair so he could study the red-haired woman sitting in front of him. The hard Texas sunlight flowing through the kitchen window brought out every cute, little freckle sprinkled across Adele’s nose. Faded jeans, a chambray shirt worn open over a bright-yellow tank top, and cowboy boots worn at the heels said she was a no-nonsense rancher.
Those two feisty girls out there on the porch with his two nephews were dressed pretty much the same way as their mother. Any other time, he might have tipped his hat and given her the option to buy the Double Deuce, but not today. The ranch was the perfect size for what he had in his bank account. The house would be just right for him and his two nephews, Leo and Nick, the boys he’d inherited when his brother and sister-in-law were killed in a car accident several months ago. And besides, it wasn’t far from his Luckadeau relatives in Ringgold and Saint Jo, Texas.
So today, Adele O’Donnell was going to have to walk away disappointed. Too bad, because he’d always been attracted to redheads, and he’d have loved to see how she felt in his arms on the dance floor of the nearest honky-tonk.
“So.” Walter cleared his throat. “I’ve come to a decision.”
Remy straightened up in his chair.
“The Luckadeaus are my friends, but so are the O’Donnells. So I can’t sell this to either of you on the basis of friendship. Vivien and I have planned a monthlong cruise, and we are leaving in one week. We fly out of Dallas on the last day of May and get back home on the last day of June.”
“I’ll beat your asking price,” Remy said quickly.
“It’s not got to do with money. Here’s what I am willin’ to do, though. You both move in here on the morning that me and Vivien leave. Y’all take care of this ranch for me for a month. When I get back, whichever one of you is still here can have it. If you both still want it, we’ll draw straws or play poker for it. If you decide you can’t work together or that the ranch ain’t what you want, you can call Chet to come take over for you. His number is on the front of the refrigerator. Only rule I’ve got is that you’d best take good care of Boss. He’s been a good cow dog, and he likes leftovers from the table, so cook a little extra at each meal. He’s not real picky. He’ll eat most anything a human will, but he doesn’t like pizza. And you have to take real good care of Jerry Lee.”
“Who is Jerry Lee?” Adele asked.
“He’s my rooster. Pretty little thing, but he never has learned to crow in the morning. He’s a late riser, so he crows either in the middle of the day or about dinnertime. I named him Jerry Lee because he’s got swagger and he sings real pretty like Jerry Lee Lewis.”
“I’ll take good care of your dog and your rooster,” Adele said, shooting a defiant look right at Remy.
“So will I.” Remy nodded coolly. “What about the one who doesn’t win the luck of the draw?”
“Then that one gets a decent paycheck,” Walter said.
“I don’t need to think about it,” Adele said quickly. “I’m in.”
Remy nodded. “I don’t have to think about it either.”
Walter pushed back his chair and stood. “Good, then I’ll look for you both to be here a week from today. You’ve seen the place. There’ll be hay to cut and haul, fields to plow, and planting to do, as well as the everyday chores with feeding and taking care of the cattle and ranch. I’ve made a list of what I want done before I get back, and I’ll leave it stuck to the refrigerator door.”
“I’m not afraid of hard work,” Adele said. “One question, though. How does Boss feel about cats?”
“Strange as it seems, he loves them. My wife, God rest her soul”—Walter looked up at the ceiling—“used to have an old barn cat that had kittens real often. Boss thought he was their grandpa.”
“Then you don’t mind if we bring our cat?” she asked.
“Not a bit. You got a problem with that, Remy?” Walter asked.
Remy shook his head.
“Thank you,” Adele said softly.
Crap! Remy didn’t hate cats, and thank God the boys weren’t allergic to them, but that soft, sweet, southern voice could easily distract him from his mission. Remy would have to keep on his toes every day for the entire month of June, and that wouldn’t be easy. For years, every woman had been a potential notch on his bedpost. Six months ago, Remy had been the resident bad boy of the Texas Panhandle. He’d spent his weekends in local bars, dancing and sweet-talking the pretty girls into his bed. Then his whole life turned around when his two nephews were tossed into his life. Since he’d started taking care of them, dating had slowed down. Now, he’d be forced to live with a woman he was clearly attracted to.
Walter started toward the door. The meeting was over. “Just bring your personal things. When I sell this place, it goes lock, stock, and barrel—furniture, equipment, everything but my own keepsakes,” he said. “Vivien and I are leaving at nine o’clock. If one of y’all ain’t here, then the other one will automatically get the place.”
Adele pushed her chair back, and in one fluid motion, she was on her feet. He’d figured she was tall when he sat down across from her and his long legs almost touched hers under the table. But when she stood up, he got the full effect of the way her hips curved out from her small waist, and for a split second, he could feel her in his arms.
Remy shook the image from his head. He had a long, hot month ahead of him, and he needed to think of Adele as an adversary, not a potential date.
“Do we move?” Nick asked when Remy stepped out onto the porch.
“We are moving onto the ranch to take care of it for Mr. Jones for a month. If we do a good job, he might sell to us in time for the Fourth of July party we’re planning.” Remy told his fourteen-year-old nephew.
“Mama?” asked the smaller of the two girls that Adele had brought along with her.
“Same thing here, girls. We’ll be moving here in one week to live for a month. Then Mr. Jones will decide which of us gets to buy the ranch,” Adele answered.
“You”—the girl pointed at Leo and wiggled her head like a bobblehead doll—“are going down. You don’t know jack squat about a ranch, so you might as well give up before you even start.”
“Jett!” Adele chided.
“Well, it’s the truth,” Jett said. “He don’t even want to live on a ranch. He’s a city boy who don’t even know who Billy Currington is. He’d hate living on this ranch.”
“Just because you lived on a ranch don’t mean you’re that smart,” Nick shot back. “Uncle Remy can teach me everything about ranching in one afternoon. I’m a fast learner.”
“Me, too.” Leo combed his carrot-red hair with his fingertips and tipped up his chin three notches.
“Okay, boys. It’s one thing to say something; it’s another to do it. Let’s get on home and get our things in order so we’ll be ready to move next week. There’s only four bedrooms, so you’ll have to share.”
Leo, who had already left the porch, kicked at the dirt. “Uncle Remy, Nick gripes if I even leave a wrinkle in the bed. He’s so neat that he shoulda been a girl.” He sighed.
“No!” Nick raised his voice. “Leo never picks up anything and—”
“Enough,” Remy said. “Into the truck. We’ve got a lot to do and a short time to get it done.”
Leo crawled into the big, black, dual-cab truck. Just before he slammed the door, he caught Jett’s eye and stuck out his tongue.
“Young man, you’re going to have to live in the same house and work with those girls,” Remy said sternly.
Leo rolled his eyes upward. “They are so bossy. Living in the country isn’t going to be easy, but living around those two prissy girls…” He sighed. “Do we really have to do this, Uncle Remy?”
“We’ll come out stronger men,” he said.
A picture of Adele’s full, kissable lips flashed through his mind. Prissy wasn’t a word he’d use to describe any of the O’Donnell women.
Nick groaned. “If we live through it.”
“We are Luckadeau men. We’ll take the bull by the horns, look him right in the eye, and dare him to charge at us.” Even as the words came out, Remy wondered if he was talking to his nephews or himself.
“I’d rather fight a bull,” Leo grumbled. “And they ain’t bulls. They’re girls, and we’re Luckadeaus.”
“Daddy used to tell us that when a Luckadeau sets his mind, it’s set forever,” Nick said.
“Your daddy was right.” Remy nodded.
Moving the boys from their house in the middle of Denton, Texas, to a ranch would be tough on them, but Remy could not live in town. He’d been fortunate enough to sell his brother’s house for enough to pay off the existing mortgage and put a little into savings for the boys’ college funds.
Remy had worked for the past fifteen years on a ranch out in the Texas Panhandle. He’d started as a hired hand and worked his way up to foreman. Today, he had enough money in his bank account to buy the Double Deuce, and it was the perfect place for the boys to have a brand-new start. It damn sure wouldn’t be easy to live in the same house with a woman like Adele and not flirt, but it was doable with the ranch as a prize at the end of the road.
“So you boys going to help me make those women see that they don’t really want our ranch? Or are we going to let them win?” Remy asked.
“Ain’t no way I’m going to back down from them two,” Nick declared.
Leo chimed right in. “Me either.”
***
“Let’s look at another ranch. I don’t want to live in the same house with those two obnoxious boys,” Bella said as they drove away from the Double Deuce.
Adele smiled. “You must really not like those boys to be pulling out your four-dollar words.”
“That tells you how much, Mama,” Bella said.
“We don’t have time to train them,” Jett added.
Adele didn’t think they’d have to do much training. Not with a cowboy like Remy Luckadeau for an uncle. That man was comfortable in his skin, and there wasn’t a doubt in her mind that he’d know the business every bit as well as she did. In any other circumstance, there could be chemistry between them. He was exactly what she’d always been attracted to, with his blond hair, blue eyes, and cowboy swagger, but then he was also what she’d been running away from when she’d married Isaac Levy.
You see how that turned out, the smart-ass voice in her head said.
Yes, she did see how it turned out. Isaac was the only son of a family who had dealt in diamonds right in the middle of Dallas, Texas, for more than fifty years. When they’d married, he’d moved Adele into his penthouse apartment, and she’d lived the life she’d thought she wanted.
Right up until Bella was born two years after the wedding. And then she’d started to yearn for her country roots. A child needed fresh air and sunshine, not parties and nannies. Isaac had loved her enough to buy a two-hundred-acre ranch between McKinney and Blue Ridge. The commute wasn’t bad because he had a driver, but after Jett was born, he spent more and more weeknights at the penthouse.
“Why do we have to move from our ranch anyway?” Jett folded her small arms over her chest.
“The same reason we had to change our last name to O’Donnell,” Bella answered. “Father has a new wife and a son, and we don’t matter anymore.”
Her daughter’s tone created a lump in Adele’s throat that she couldn’t swallow down. Tears welled in her eyes, but she kept them at bay. Bella had put it into the simplest language possible, but the story was far more complex than that.
“Your father will come to his senses someday,” she said softly.
“But it might be too late,” Bella declared. “He’s mean, making us move off the ranch.”
It wasn’t the time or the place to tell the girls that part of the marriage problems had been her fault. Isaac thought he was getting a socialite who loved the fast lane, and he never would have asked her to marry him if he’d realized she wasn’t ready to break all ties with her country roots.
“We are going to love this new ranch so much that we’ll never look back at the old one. Even though they don’t have any ranching experience, I just wonder if you two are big and mean enough to show those two boys that nobody can outwork three tough O’Donnell women.”
Jett unfolded her arms, leaned up from the backseat of the bright-red, dual-cab truck, and patted her mother on the shoulder. “They ain’t got a chance in hell.”
“Jett!” Bella scolded.
“Well, Uncle Cash says that, and nobody fusses at him. Besides, I believe it. We’re tough and mean, and we can out-ranch any old boy in the state of Texas,” Jett said.
“We’ve got a week to pack all our things, put them in storage, and load up the truck with just what we need for a month,” Adele said as she turned east toward Gainesville.
Adele’s cell phone rang. She saw a picture of her sister, Cassie, smiling at her. She answered it on the fourth ring and hit the Speaker button.
“We have not bought the ranch yet,” she said and went on to tell her sister the deal that Walter had come up with.
Cassie giggled the whole way through the story.
“What’s so funny about that?” Adele asked.
“Those boys don’t stand a chance. Not any one of them—the grown one or the two kids,” Cassie said. “I’ll put my money on my sister and my nieces any day of the week.”
“Yes!” Bella and Jett squealed at the same time.
“Thank you, Aunt Cassie. We won’t let you down,” Jett said.
“What are you doing today?” Adele asked her sister.
“Haulin’ hay, but I’d rather be doing something else in the hayloft with my boyfriend,” Cassie said.
“Cassandra Grace O’Donnell!” Adele raised her voice.
“Don’t you double name me. Only Mama gets to do that, and I was talking about kissing my boyfriend. He’s really good at kissing.” Cassie laughed.
“I miss y’all,” Adele said wistfully. “If I get to buy this ranch, I’m having a big Fourth of July party to celebrate. Y’all had better be there.”
“Wild horses couldn’t keep me away. Is this new cowboy sexy? Maybe I’ll visit for a weekend between now and then,” Cassie said.
“No!” The girls’ loud voices bounced around in the truck cab.
“Why? Don’t you want to see me?” Cassie asked.
“We love you,” Bella said. “But we don’t want Remy Luckadeau in the family at all, and if he sees you, then he’ll fall in love with you. Besides, we like Clinton just fine. Go kiss on him in the hayloft, and stay away until the ranch belongs to us.”
“If you promise to work hard and show Mr. Jones that you are the right people to sell his ranch to, then I’ll stay away until you’ve run those old boys off your land. But, girls, Clinton and I broke up a while ago,” Cassie said seriously. “The new man in my life is Dusty Dillard. We’ve only been on two dates, but I like him a lot.”
“Is he as pretty as Clinton?” Bella asked.
“No, but he’s a lot nicer,” Cassie said.
“I thought Clinton was nice, and I like his name better than Dusty,” Jett said.
“Wait until you meet him. Are you taking Blanche?” Cassie asked.
“Of course,” Jett answered quickly. “We wouldn’t leave her behind. Mama, please tell me that man didn’t say we couldn’t bring Blanche.”
“I asked about bringing a cat and he said it was fine,” Adele said.
Cassie laughed again. “The old hussy would die if you left her. Besides, isn’t she about ready to pop out another litter in the next couple of weeks?”
“Yes, she is,” Bella said. “And I hope both of them boys hate cats.”
“And you, Sister Adele? How do you feel about living with a cowboy?”
“I’m not living with him. I’m sharing a house with him for a month. And don’t call me Sister Adele. I’m not a nun,” Adele said curtly.
“These past two years you have been. Promise you’ll call me often,” she said. “Got to go. The hay wagon is here, and it’s time to stack bales.”
Adele hit the End button, and the screen on the phone went dark. She caught a movement in her peripheral vision and glanced over to see two little boys glaring at her from the windows of a black truck. A whole month with those two smart-ass kids just might make her move all the way to Wyoming or Montana.
She looked in the rearview mirror, and there was Jett, giving the boys the old stink eye. In seconds, they sped on past her, whipped over in front of her truck, and moved on ahead pretty quickly. No doubt about it—this was going to be a long month!

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About the author

Carolyn Brown Author bio picNew York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than sixty books.

Brown presently writes both women’s fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title and contemporary series. She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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