Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: I AM JUSTICE by Diana Muñoz Stewart

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I AM JUSTICE (Band of Sisters, Book 1) by Diana Muñoz Stewart

Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

EF35DED4-71E7-45FC-BDC6-144988EEA0C7This bad-ass band of sisters plays for keeps.

She’s ready to start a war

Justice Parish takes down bad guys. Rescued from the streets by the world renowned Parish family, she joined their covert sisterhood of vigilante assassins. Her next target: a sex-trafficking ring in the war-torn Middle East. She just needs to get close enough to take them down…

He just wants peace

Sandesh Ross left Special Forces to found a humanitarian group to aid war-torn countries. But saving the world isn’t cheap. Enter Parish Industries and limitless funding, with one catch—their hot, prickly ‘PR specialist’, Justice Parish.

Their chemistry is instant and off-the-charts. But when Justice is injured and her cover blown, Sandesh has to figure out if he can reconcile their missions. With danger dogging their every move, their white-hot passion can change the world—if it doesn’t destroy them first.

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Excerpt

Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Deep inside the stone-and-spire main building of the 160-acre campus of the Mantua Academy for Girls, Justice knew the thing that sucked most about a family business. The family part.
She reached her sister’s office…door? Great. Bridget had followed through on her promise to have the door removed.
She rapped on the wood framing the empty doorway. Inside, Bridget sat cross-legged on her mesh, ergohuman office chair, eyes closed. Her frizzy, dark hair stabbed with a silver comb drooped lopsidedly, like a hairy modern art sculpture.
Justice smiled. This was so perfectly Bridget it almost deserved its own word, like freaktacular or weirdiful.
Justice knocked again. “Bridge?”
Bridget’s eyes fluttered open and locked on her. Justice instantly felt seen. As in seen below the skin. Shiva, uhm, Bridget quirked an eyebrow. “What can I do for you, Justice?”
“I need to talk to you about the yoga class. Is it true you have the girls chanting in Sanskrit?”
“Yes, but I’m not sure of your question. I submitted the yoga for approval through the director’s office.”
Justice walked into the office and plopped into a chair. “You got approval for yoga, She-pak Chopra. Not to have the girls chanting in Sanskrit. This isn’t good PR. And that’s bad for me. Means I have to do work.”
Bridget rested her hands on the desk. “I will limit my teaching to poses and centering music.”
Justice smiled. “Dammit, Bridge, you’re so easy.
Why can’t I have more sisters like you?”
“Perhaps, because you are as abrasive as a starving boar,” a voice said from the hall.
Justice turned. Sheared head, lips painted bright red, skin as satiny smooth and dark as a starless sky, and cocked against the doorway, the generous curve of boys- can’t-help-but-wonder hips clad in a leopard-print skirt. Dada, six-foot-two in spiked heels.
And this was the problem with having no doors. Justice slipped her shoe back on, rose, and crossed the room. “You’re home? Aren’t you supposed to be con- tacting your Brothers Grim informant?”
Dada’s forehead creased. She looked around the hall, but the school staff, a.k.a. no-idea-a-secret-society-of- vigilantes-existed-under-their-feet staff, weren’t in yet. “Have you checked your secure email this morning?”
***
After passing through security, Justice whisked through the headquarters of the Parish empire in Philadelphia. She was too pissed to pay attention to the repeated nods and hellos. Momma’s morning email had sent her scrambling for her Jeep keys. The mission to take down the global trafficking ring had been put on hold.
Nope. Not happening.
She didn’t care if the Brothers Grim had been alerted by her screwup with Tony last week. Or that they’d moved their meeting up by six weeks. Or that they’d moved the location to Jordan—the one place on the entire fucking globe where the League had no established cover. This was bullshit.
Ahead, at the mahogany double doors at the mouth of two intersecting hallways, Momma’s executive assistant, straitlaced Lorena of the cotton button-downs and starched pantsuits, stood from her desk and crossed her arms. Huh. A human barricade.
Good thing Justice had been trained for just such an event.
Sprinting forward, she lifted her foot, planted the arch of her shoe against the edge of the desk, toed herself into the leap, and vaulted into the air.
Lorena ducked and cried out. Instant classic.
Justice landed with a thud. Lorena was still sputtering vague threats when Justice closed Momma’s office door. Click.
For a confused moment, she stood within the inner sanctum. A huge corner office with buttoned leather couches, two flat-screen TVs, a hulking Thor of a desk, and a well-stocked kitchen. The self-satisfied grin slipped from her face.
Shit.
The man—built like a hot night of unforgettable, wild blond hair like a sandstorm, eyes the color of the ocean after a lazy day in the sun—drove the air from her lungs. She couldn’t move. Struck deaf, dumb, and blind meet deer-in-headlights. Damn, the man was tall. Like a
wall. A wall of man muscle. So hot.
“Justice.” Leland, Momma’s oldest friend and most trusted adviser, extended his hand with a warm smile. His silver hair gleamed under the canopy of recessed lights. The gray- checkered Armani suit draped over him as if upon the confident shoulders of dignity itself.
Justice took Leland’s smooth hand. He pressed down firmly and tugged her farther inside.
“Sandesh, I’d like you to meet Justice Parish.” Only the stern grip of Leland’s hand told her how annoyed he was. “She does PR for the Mantua Academy and will be working on the Greenville Initiative. She is familiar with all aspects of our newest philanthropy venture.”
Dude was good. Calm. Graceful. And full of shit. Greenville? What was that project about? Giving away money, judging by what Leland had said.
Behind Leland, Momma’s brown eyes showed as little as the rose-colored niqab that covered her hair and face and scars.
Justice turned and gave Leland a rictus grin meant to be a smile. She was usually more successful at hiding her feelings, but a high-pressure situation—you know the kind where you Jack-be-nimbled your momma’s executive assistant, barged into a business meeting, and eye- appraised-seduced-and-fucked a total stranger—had her off her game.
“Actually, my role in all philanthropic projects is still advisory. I wouldn’t want to mislead, uhm, what was your name?”
Blue-Eyes reached for her hand. “I’m Sandesh. Head of the International Peace Team. We’re partnering with Greenville in Jordan.”
He slid his long fingers along her palm in a hot brush that sent her skin tingling. He grasped her hand. Heat suffused her body, brought a flush to her stomach and a smile to her lips. Nice.
Who said philanthropy wasn’t sexy?
Wait. Jordan?

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of I Am Justice by Diana Munoz Stewart

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Diana Muñoz Stewart is the award-winning, romantic suspense author of the Band of Sisters series, which includes I Am Justice (Sourcebooks Casablanca). She lives in eastern Pennsylvania in an often chaotic and always welcoming home that—depending on the day—can include husband, kids, extended family, friends, and a canine or two. When not writing, Diana can be found kayaking, doing sprints up her long driveway—harder than it sounds–practicing yoga on her deck, flying, climbing, or hiking with the man who’s had her heart since they were teens. Find Diana at www.dianamunozstewart.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: UNTIL THERE WAS US by Samantha Chase

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UNTIL THERE WAS US (Montgomery Brothers) by Samantha Chase

Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

04F298F8-EE44-4AD3-B0ED-5E214D7503E9He’ll have to play his cards just right for her to take a chance on him…

Megan Montgomery has always been careful…except that one time she threw caution to the wind and hooked up with a sexy groomsman at her cousin’s wedding. But that was two years ago—so why can’t she stop thinking about Alex Rebat

Alex has been living the good life. He loves his job, has a great circle of friends, and doesn’t answer to anyone. The problem? There’s only one woman he wants and she ran out on him after one amazing weekend. But now that Megan’s coming back to town, Alex hopes he can convince her to take another chance on him…and on a future that can only be built together.

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Excerpt

With a nod of agreement, everyone sprang into action, and as Alex headed toward the guest room, he had to remember to breathe. He didn’t miss the fact that she had practically dashed from the dinner table—no doubt to get away from him—but she couldn’t avoid him forever.
Hell, he wasn’t even going to let her avoid him for another five minutes.
“Hey,” he said softly as he ducked his head into the room. Her big brown eyes went wide at the sight of him, and those soft pink lips parted as she gasped.
“Oh! I…I didn’t think anyone was ready to start in here yet. I thought I’d…um…” But her words died away.
Smiling, Alex stepped into the room and explained the plan he and Zach had come up with.
“So…we’re supposed to start moving stuff into the office?” she asked.
Nodding, he looked around. The room was large with a queen-size bed, two nightstands, and a dresser. There was a flat-screen television mounted on the wall along with several pictures. Megan was moving some things into the dresser drawers and was doing her best to keep her back to him. Alex chuckled.
“What? What’s so funny?” she asked, still not turning around.
“You’re going to have to look at me eventually, you know,” he said casually and was pleasantly surprised when she did. She looked a little flushed and embarrassed, but at least she was looking at him.
“So you’ve been here a week already. How are you enjoying Portland?”
She returned her attention to her task. “I haven’t gone out sightseeing or anything yet. This whole week has been spent getting settled in at work. Summer’s been great with pointing out things on our way to work and all, but—”
“And you’re staying in the guesthouse?”
“For now. I was relieved to have a place to stay right away. It takes some of the pressure off so I can focus on work.”
Work. Yeah. That was a sore spot with him where she was concerned, and right now, he was kind of glad she wasn’t looking at him because he was certain his displeasure was written all over his face.
“I’ll start looking for a place of my own in the next couple of weeks, but it’s nice to not have to think about it yet. As it is, I have to buy a car.”
He looked at her oddly when she turned around to start moving other items into drawers. “Didn’t you bring anything with you from New York? I know it wouldn’t have been easy to drive cross-country, but it seems like you must have sold everything in order to move here.”
“I did,” she said as she closed a drawer. “The cost of moving all my furniture and keeping it in storage until I found a place wasn’t cost-effective. I figured I would start fresh when I got here.”
Nodding, he slid his hands into his pockets and waited to see if she would offer up any other information about herself without him prompting her.
But patience wasn’t his strong suit right now.
“So, how have you been?” he asked, stepping closer to her.
“Good.”
He chuckled softly. “Good,” he said. “Me too.”
She nodded and then moved to unplug the lamps. When she went to turn away from him, he placed a hand on her arm to stop her. She turned to him, and he saw every emotion she was feeling right there in her eyes. His heart melted a little, and he couldn’t help but smile.
“Hey,” he said softly.
That one word seemed to do the trick because she visibly relaxed.
“I was surprised when Zach told me you’d moved here,” he said quietly, his hand still on her. He wanted to skim it down her arm and take her hand in his, but he knew it was too soon for that. “I wish you had called and let me know.”
Megan took a step away, and he instantly missed the feel of her.
“Alex,” she began, “it’s been two years. I…it would have been weird to reach out to you after all that time.”
“Why?”
“Seriously? What if you were involved with someone? And why would I even assume you’d want to see me? After the way things ended—”
“Do you?” he interrupted, fairly blurting out the question.
She looked at him curiously. “Do I what?”
“Do you want to see me?”
Her brows furrowed. “I’m seeing you right now, Alex.”
He laughed. “I know, but…did you want to see me? Did you think about looking me up when you got settled?”
Her hesitation wasn’t encouraging.
“Alex…”
Then he stepped forward and reached for her hand. “Okay, it wasn’t fair of me to put you on the spot like that. But I want you to know I’m happy you’re here. I…I think about you a lot.” His eyes met hers, and he saw confusion in those dark-brown depths. “I mean it. I hated the way things ended between us.”
“I did too. But geography wasn’t on our side, and then my job, and…I don’t know… I don’t expect you to feel obligated to make something more of it than it was.”
Okay, that wasn’t what he was expecting, and this time it was he who stepped away. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Megan sighed. “Look, I’m sure this is awkward for you because Zach’s a good friend and I’m his cousin. No one knows about us, so there’s nothing that says we have to do anything now—you’re off the hook. Zach will never know, so we’re free to be…acquaintances or something.”
Was she for real? Did she really have no idea that was the last thing he was looking for? Hell, he’d practically lived his life in limbo for the past two years because he couldn’t get her out of his mind! And now she was saying it didn’t mean anything?

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

 Samantha Chase Prize Pack!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

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

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

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

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: PLAY FOR KEEPS by Maggie Wells

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PLAY FOR KEEPS (Love Games, Book 2) by Maggie Wells

Publication Date: April 3, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

AD7691B0-9A0E-4ED1-9B3B-CBB0313E4FCEMixing business and pleasure is a dangerous game…

Tyrell Ransom, the new men’s basketball coach, is ready to whip his team into shape and start winning some games. But when compromising photos of his soon-to-be-ex-wife with one of his players go viral, everything comes crashing down. With reporters thick on the ground, Ty and his team need some serious damage control—now.

When public relations guru Millie Jenkins arrives in her leopard-print cape to save the day, things really heat up… Soon they’re going to have to work double time to keep their white-hot chemistry out of the headlines.

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Excerpt

Her thumb tapped the callback option before she even had a chance to check the clock. Three minutes after eleven. He’d be boarding soon. One little phone call should be safe enough.
“Hello.”
His voice was warm and deep and put her in the mood for Barry White music and lamps draped with gauzy scarves. “Plan on visiting any brothels while you’re in the great state of Nevada?”
He laughed. A full, rumbling laugh that did little to dispel the red wallpapered room she’d conjured in her head. “You never know. If the casinos don’t have any good headliners…”
She could see the whole setup perfectly. Of course, her version was highly romanticized and most likely television inspired. Reality was no doubt a fairly businesslike concern, but this was her trip down the rabbit hole. If she wanted piles of pillows, sheets made of satin, and heavy velvet drapes on the four-poster bed she had him tied to in her head, who could tell her no?
“Boarding soon?”
“Let’s get back to the brothel thing,” he teased.
“Not the kind of headline I want to spin. Besides, it’s been done. Promise me you won’t do anything reckless.”
Ty sobered instantly. “My dad is flying out, remember? I’ll probably be playing thirty-six holes of golf each day and listening to the old man heckle me about my slice.”
Dropping onto the bed, she leaned back against the headboard and pulled her knees up under her shirt. “Shift your weight before you start your downswing.”
“You golf?”
“Some,” she replied, relishing his pleased surprise.
“What’s your handicap?”
“The shoes,” she said without hesitation. He laughed again, and she beamed, delighted to have found their easy rhythm once again. “Pick up any good trinkets in the gift shops?”
“I’ve been hanging out in the Captain’s Club.”
“Free drinks?”
“Coffee.”
She nodded. “Good boy.”
“I’m no boy.”
“Man,” she corrected, allowing a sly smile to color the words. “Big, strong, handsome man.”
“Much better.”
“So your dad will be keeping an eye on you. That makes me feel much better.”
“Were you really worried?”
Millie caught a hint of injury in his question and hurried to correct course. “Well, not really, but I wanted to make you feel all badass and loose cannon, because I know guys like to think they are.”
His chuckle told her she’d hit the right note. “Yes, well, I think I perfected my badass loose cannon act last week.”
They lapsed into silence but not the uncomfortable kind. This was easy. Companionable. The quiet was unusual for Millie but not unwelcome. She spent so many hours of the day pitching and talking and promoting, she sometimes found it hard to switch off the ticker in her head. But Ty made the quiet she’d dedicated her life to filling seem almost natural. Almost but not entirely. Nature abhorred a vacuum and all that.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway
Enter to win one of five copies of Love Game by Maggie Wells!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

By day, MAGGIE WELLS is buried in spreadsheets. At night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide. She has a passion for college football, processed cheese foods, and happy endings. Not necessarily in that order. She lives in Arkansas.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: FEARLESS IN TEXAS (Texas Rodeo, #4) by Kari Lynn Dell

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FEARLESS IN TEXAS (Texas Rodeo, #4) by Kari Lynn Dell

Publication Date: April 3, 2018

Genre: Western/ Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

546D435B-CBD4-4AF8-9EA6-D5F3906950BAHe’d step in front of a bull to save a life

But even he’s no match for a girl this Texas tough

Rodeo bullfighter Wyatt Darrington’s got it all figured out. The perfect car, the perfect job, the perfect looks—the perfect lie. He may be on the fast track to the Hall of Fame, but he knows he’ll always be an outsider to people like Melanie Brookman. Texas-born and bred, with the arena in her blood, Melanie’s come to see Wyatt as her personal enemy, and that suits him just fine—this way, she’ll never realize the truth.

He’s been crazy in love with her for years.

Melanie’s always been a fighter. Fiercely independent and tough as nails, she’s stood up to everything that got in her way—including Wyatt. But now her infamous temper’s got her on the ropes, and there’s nowhere left to run but toward the man she swore she’d never trust…and this time, there’s no denying just how hot he makes her burn.

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Author Guest Post

What I Love about Rodeo

There are so many things I love about rodeo that I could—and have—filled several books (aka the Texas Rodeo series). A million tiny details like the scent of wood shavings in a horse stall, the indescribable joy of a perfectly thrown loop, or the way a belt and buckle sets off a nice pair of hips. Lately, though, I’ve come to appreciate a facet of rodeo and life on the ranch that I’ve always taken for granted: rodeo makes women stronger.

Unlike other parts of our society, in rodeo and ranching, strength is a highly prized trait in a woman—both physical and mental. From the time we are old enough to be hoisted onto a pony to trot around the arena, we are praised for being ambitious, competitive, aggressive and independent. We are valued as much for what our bodies can accomplish as we are for our appearance. I might’ve started out by catching my husband’s eye, but I captured his heart the first time he saw me sort cows.

The smart, capable, take-no-crap women of the Texas Rodeo books are products of my environment, and none more so than Melanie Brookman of Fearless in Texas. May every reader who ventures into our world steal a page from her book and leave with a little more cowgirl in their blood—and their attitude.

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Excerpt

Wyatt braced a hand on the front door of the Bull Dancer Saloon, blocking Melanie. “You can’t go back in there.”
She looked at his arm as if debating whether she should bite it or snap it in half. “You think you can stop me?”
“Yes.” He jerked a thumb toward the door and quoted the flyspecked sign posted inside. “I am the proprietor, and we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”
Hell. That wasn’t what he’d meant to say, but the sparks that were flying off of her were burying themselves under his skin, kindling fires that threatened to reduce all of his good intentions to ashes. Her mouth dropped open, and he braced himself for some truly spectacular swearing. Instead, she snapped it shut, whirled around, and strode away, her shiny red heels clicking angrily on the empty street.
“Melanie…wait! Could we just talk—”
Her answer was a stiff middle finger shot straight in the air. He took a couple of steps in pursuit, but his ankle made it clear that anything above a sedate stroll was a bad idea, not that he was sure what he’d do if he caught her. Attempting to stop her when she was like this would be like tackling a mountain lion, but if she intended to go to one of the other bars, she was headed the wrong direction.
“Where are you going?”
“To the bridge. It’ll have to do, since I assume you’ll follow me and there’s not a cliff handy.”
He’d already taken several more steps, but he stopped. “The rail is too high.”
“Then I’ll knock you over the head with a rock and roll you off the dike.”
She wouldn’t. Would she? “If you’re going to commit assault and attempted murder, you’ll need your keys to make your getaway.”
She stopped dead and spun around. He held up the keys in one hand and the purse in the other.
She swore and started back toward him. “Don’t think I won’t kick you square in the nuts and stomp on your fingers when you fall.”
“Not a doubt in my mind.” He unlocked the door that led up to her apartment, yanked it open, and threw both the keys and the purse to the top of the stairs before she could reach him. Then he stepped back, feet braced, ready to dodge or deflect any blow aimed at his groin. If Melanie had said it, she was seriously considering it.
She went for the door instead, but paused with her hand on the knob. “If I go in after them, you won’t let me out.”
“Nope.” Although it would take all his strength to hold the door shut if she was determined to push it open, and there was the fire escape…
Her hand dropped, and she turned on him. If it were possible for a stare to be literally cutting, his guts would’ve fallen out onto the street. “What…the hell…is your problem?”
“You.” He gestured toward her painted face, her dress, those damn red shoes. “I know what all of that means, but you’re wrong. And if you would just let me explain—”
“Yes!” She threw her hands in the air like a Baptist preacher. “Please, oh wise and knowing male, tell me how I’m supposed to feel. Better yet, explain why it is that you could leave this place with any of those women you’ve never met before and you get high fives, but if I do the same, I’m an embarrassment to your shitty little bar.”
Despite his vow to remain calm, his temper began to stir. “I did not say—”
“You don’t have to. I grew up in the goddamn Bible Belt. I’ve heard it all my life.” The bitterness in her voice ran generations deep. “Well, sorry, but not sorry. I’m done trying to please anyone but myself. I’ll sleep with who I want, when I want, and y’all can just deal with it.”
Not likely. Wyatt’s anger boiled up, shooting past the red line and straight into fury. Yes, her rage was justified, but she did not get to lump him in with bastards like Michael and her former boss. All he’d ever wanted, from damn near the first moment they’d spoken on the phone, was Melanie, but it was as if the entire universe had conspired against him, and he was so damn tired of fighting this bone-deep need…
He took a step toward her. Then another. She didn’t budge, but her eyes flicked toward the apartment door as if reconsidering her choices.
He leaned in close, his breath fanning her cheek, his voice low and lethal even to his own ears. “Is that what you want? Just someone with a pulse you can use up and toss out when you’re done?”
He heard her swallow, but she didn’t flinch. “Why shouldn’t I? Men have been doing it forever.”
“Yes, we have.”
He gathered a fistful of her hair and wound the warm silk around and around his hand until his knuckles were pressed to the nape of her neck. Her breath caught at the electric press of skin against skin, and her eyes went even darker. The line he’d held for so long had been crossed. He was beyond stopping—unless she made him.
“As long as you’re determined to do something you’ll hate yourself for in the morning, it might as well be with me.” And then he kissed her.
And instead of shoving him away, Melanie clenched both hands in his shirt and yanked him closer.

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Buy Links

KindleAmazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Two bundles of the Texas Rodeo Series 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

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

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Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: SIT, STAY, LOVE (Rescue Me) by Debbie Burns

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SIT, STAY, LOVE (Rescue Me Series, Book 2) by Debbie Burns

Publication Date: April 3, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

D7A33FE2-255D-4D9C-9741-03B2526747DAThese dogs aren’t the only ones in need of rescue

For devoted no-kill shelter worker Kelsey Sutton, rehabbing a group of rescue dogs is a welcome challenge. Working with a sexy ex-military dog handler who needs some TLC himself? That’s a different story.

Kurt Crawford keeps his heart locked away from everyone. Well, everyone except the dogs who need his help…and always have his back. But as Kurt gets to know the compassionate, beautiful woman he’s been assigned to work with, he can’t help but feel a little puppy love…

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Donna review 4.5 stars

This is a lovely, light romance with a cast of varied personalities and emotions. There is no real drama to tense you up, yet it never got boring or saccharine. Kurt may have seemed a bit too standoffish at first, and Kelsey too naively optimistic, but it all worked. It was real people, real life and real love woven around rescued dogs. I enjoyed this feel-good story.

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

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Excerpt

It had been years since Kurt had felt genuine peace slip over him after the sun sank below the horizon and stars studded the sky. In Afghanistan and in the jungles of Honduras, he’d rarely been able to relax, even on nights when he was tucked in a bunk and crowded with the sounds and smells of other marines and a handful of dogs not far away. He hadn’t expected to be able to do so here either.
But the calm cradled his skin despite the surprise that accompanied it.
Standing under the stars, Kurt set his beer on the table and headed into the screened-in half of the porch. The pregnant Rottweiler let out a whine as he approached. Kelsey had taken her outside an hour or so before after making sure she ate a plentiful dinner.
Kurt hooked a leash onto the dog’s collar and led her around the yard long enough to ensure she was calm and obedient, then asked her to sit on command before letting her off leash. Once free from its confines, the Rott—Pepper, as Kelsey was calling her—gave her massive head a shake and trotted off into the yard. Kurt headed back onto the porch for his beer.
Taking a swig of beer, Kurt eyed the silhouette of an owl standing watch on an exposed branch of an enormous oak tree at the back of the yard. If Kurt hadn’t been outside when it let out a series of soft, low hoots, he wouldn’t have known the owl was there. It seemed to be watching the dog sniff around the dark yard as if it had come across an interloper in its nightly hunting spot.
A cool, gentle breeze swept over Kurt’s skin. He was thankful to no longer be living in sweltering lands. The dry oven that was the desert, and the wet, stifling tropics. He wondered how long it would be before he forgot the sensation of the heat rising off the desert sand late at the night as if he were holding his hand over a radiator. Or standing guard in the jungle at night, listening to the howler monkeys crossing the tree canopy while he scoped openings in the thick tropical forest for insurgents. One night he’d spotted a small, wild ocelot hunting at the edge of the base. About the size of a slender coyote, it had unusually large eyes and a sleek coat with spots and stripes.
As he was thinking about it, a very different feline stalked into view. Mr. Longtail. Who knew where the unusual cat had been this evening, but he was headed confidently toward the Rott, in full view of the owl. The enormous Maine coon was too big to ever end up dinner to an owl, but Kurt wasn’t so sure about the off-leash Rott. Setting down his beer, he whistled confidently.
Pepper—the name was sticking even though naming these dogs would create unnecessary emotional attachment—pricked up her ears and looked his way.
“Come here, girl,” Kurt called, half holding his breath as the cat trotted directly into the dog’s path. Like earlier this afternoon, Pepper didn’t disappoint. She dropped into a play bow and woofed. Mr. Longtail stopped mid-step as the hair along his back and tail stood out stick straight. As if he’d had no idea a dog was capable of such a baritone woof. Pepper didn’t seem to notice. She sniffed the cat all over, nudging his hind end off the ground with her strong head.
Kurt emptied his pocket of treats for her. Mr. Longtail followed, walking underneath her, straight to Kurt’s legs to rub against his jeans. The cat meowed, and Kurt was surprised to hear a deep, thrumming purr radiating from his chest.
After getting Pepper back in her kennel, Kurt headed into the kitchen, Mr. Longtail following. He fed the cat and helped himself to a slice of cold pizza. He considered hunting down a notebook and pen and making a to-do list of all the items bouncing around his head, but even if he could find a pen and a notebook, he doubted he’d get halfway through writing the list before becoming distracted. Experience had proven he could tackle projects of almost any size, but he couldn’t make a list to save himself. So instead, he dove into repairs of the Sabrina Raven estate the way he did everything else—focusing on whatever came to the front of his thoughts.
He sorted through a bulky metal toolbox for all the flooring nails he could find. “Come on, cat,” Kurt said to the watchful Mr. Longtail. He slipped the nails into his pocket and fisted the hammer, heading out of the kitchen. “You and I could likely use each other’s company. Let’s see if I can get those stairs to be a bit less of a hazard so I can make it up to one of those old feather beds you’ve been sleeping on.”
With a twitch of his tail, the cat followed him out of the kitchen, and Kurt suspected he was on the way to making an unlikely friend.

~*~*~*~

9C88707F-62D5-47E3-8D46-82AC95E10C0A.jpeg

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Enter to win one of five copies of A New Leash on Love by Debbie Burns!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

 

About the Author

Debbie Burns lives in St. Louis with her family, two phenomenal rescue dogs, and a somewhat tetchy Maine coon cat who everyone loves anyway. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening, and daydreaming, which, of course, always leads to new story ideas.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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6B4B457C-B566-4499-AE1F-5DDFCE7E2EE0

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: BAD BACHELOR by Stefanie London

6178E9D0-D613-4B0F-B881-D0A5A48EF747

BAD BACHELOR (Bad Bachelors Book 1) by Stefanie London

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

4013602B-DE1A-4661-A552-DB537608FEBCEverybody’s talking about the hot new app reviewing New York’s most eligible bachelors. But why focus on prince charming when you can read the latest dirt on the lowest-ranked “Bad Bachelors”—NYC’s most notorious bad boys?

If one more person mentions Bad Bachelors to Reed McMahon, someone’s gonna get hurt. A PR whiz, Reed is known as an ‘image fixer’ but his womanizing ways have caught up with him. What he needs is a PR miracle of his own.

When Reed strolls into Darcy Greer’s workplace offering to help save the struggling library, she isn’t buying it. The prickly Brooklynite knows Reed is exactly the kind of guy she should avoid. But the library does need his help. As she reluctantly works with Reed, she realizes there’s more to a man than his reputation. Maybe, just maybe Bad Bachelor #1 is THE one for her.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

“Got your eye on someone?” She ran her tongue across her lower lip. His eyes tracked the movement, intently following the half-moon swipe as if his life depended on it. “Chasing a little skirt?”

He smirked. “I’m pretty sure people don’t say that anymore.”

Darcy’s cheeks burned, but she tried to hide it with a haughty flick of her ponytail over one shoulder. “Dodging the question, I see. Nice move, but it won’t work on me.”

“What would work on you?” He leaned a little closer and Darcy’s brain short-circuited. It would be a goddamn miracle if sparks weren’t flying out of her ears.

Mayday, mayday. Brain is down. I repeat: Brain is down.

“Respect. A little courtesy.”

He frowned. “You think I don’t respect you?”

“I don’t know if you respect any of the women you pursue. How can you when all you want is sex?” The second the words were out of her mouth, she wanted to take them back.

Reed wasn’t the kind of guy with whom she should engage in verbal sparring. Not only that, but she was also starting to wonder exactly how much her opinion of him was based on what had been spoon-fed to her. It was easy to see him as the villain with his hypnotic good looks and commanding charm.

“Why do you think wanting sex and being respectful are mutually exclusive?”

The question halted her internal parade of confusion. “I don’t know, actually.”

“Because you’ve been conditioned to think that once you hand over the keys to the kingdom, you’ve lost all bargaining power.” His tilted his chin up ever so slightly.

“Women are taught to believe that once men get sex, they won’t want anything else.”

“Isn’t it true?” She folded her arms across her chest.

The moment Reed’s eyes eased down to where her breasts pressed against the low neckline of her borrowed top, she dropped her hands again. “Do you want anything else from a woman after you’ve slept with her?”

“Why don’t you find out?”

He inched closer, his head dipping to hers. The air in Darcy’s lungs stilled, an indignant squeak clogging the back of her throat as her lips parted. A protest should have shot out of her, a “no fucking way” aimed squarely in his direction. But her dignity melted under the fire crackling between them, causing her body to prepare itself for his kiss.

“You’re not my type,” she gritted out.

Instead of looking affronted, Reed threw his head back and laughed. The booming sound cut the tension like a knife through butter.

“What?” she huffed. “Is it really so hard to believe I don’t find you attractive?”

“Sweetheart, most women find me attractive. Some just hide it better than others.” His hand came up to brush a strand of hair that had fallen across her forehead.

“For the record, you don’t hide it. At all.”

“Screw you.” She planted a hand against his chest and gave him a warning shove.

Mistake. The hard muscle beneath his crisp, white shirt felt even better than it looked. Her imagination was already having a field day filling in the blanks—the smooth skin, the little trail of hair that would guide her hand down below the waistband of his pants. The hefty weight she’d feel in her palm. She resolutely kept her eyes forward. “I’ll have you know I’m here for someone else.”

“Yes, Five-Star Darren.” Reed smirked. “I saw him at the bar. You know he’s balding on top, right?”

*

There was something about Darcy that caused Reed’s competitive streak to flare up. It prickled under his skin, turning a fleeting thought into a persistent drone. It was the exact reason he’d come into this bar when he’d spotted Darcy by chance. She’d walked in with two friends, laughing and smiling in a way she didn’t around him. Before he’d even given it a second thought, he’d headed into the bar after her, desperate to see more of Darcy in her natural state.

Then he’d seen Five-Star Darren too. He didn’t know the guy personally, but he’d trawled through Bad Bachelors looking at the guys they’d deemed better than him.

So that’s why she was here? To chase some guy who’d likely leave her wanting and unfulfilled? It was obvious she was attracted to Reed—and not because he believed the drivel he spouted about women wanting him, but because he could see it plain as day.

Yet she fought it at every turn.

Her chest rose and fell in uneven bursts, as though she had to remind herself to continue breathing. Then there was the fidgeting, the hair flipping, and the tightening of that perfect, pouty mouth.

“I bet if I kissed you, that sweet, little mouth would part like the Red Sea.” Satisfaction coursed through him when her nostrils flared. He dipped his head lower, so he could whisper right into her ear. “And I bet your hands would curl into my shirt, so you could hang on for dear life.”

Her breath stuttered in and out. “You don’t affect me, Reed.”

“Bullshit.”

Defiance rolled off her in waves.

“Kiss me then,” she taunted. “You’ll be disappointed with my reaction.”

“I doubt that very much.”

Her eyes widened when she realized he fully intended to prove her wrong. Shifting, he moved his body over hers, trapping her by planting his palms against the wall, one on either side of her. Caging her in. Sealing off the exits.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

~*~*~*~

A78E9591-8EEC-4D37-875A-6874A338C672

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of BAD BACHELOR by Stefanie London!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

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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New Series Announcement: CONSUMED (Firefighters Series) by J.R. Ward

 

New Series Announcement/ Pre-Order

CONSUMED (Firefighters Series, Book 1) by J.R. Ward

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

EA09D6EE-D882-49E3-A05B-037AEDD6F49EFrom the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

The first in a brand new contemporary series from bestselling author J. R. Ward, featuring red-hot firefighters

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Hardback

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About the Author

imageJ.R. Ward is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series of vampire books. She is a winner of the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Paranormal Romance and is a multiple RITA nominee. A graduate of Smith College, she was a double major in History and Art History with a medieval concentration in both and she still longs at times for a return to those days sitting in dark lecture halls, looking at slides of old triptychs and reliquaries. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a corporate attorney, serving for many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard Medical Schools premier teaching sites. Her idea of absolute heaven is a day filled with nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot and the Brothers, of course.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: SEEKING MR. WRONG by Tamara Morgan

0F3A276D-A8BE-45D6-B12D-93D85303EE8B

SEEKING MR. WRONG (Penelope Blue Book 3) by Tamara Morgan 

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

B63849F0-0CB8-4A28-A3C0-DFD2A1325783A fool-proof way to spice up any relationship:
1. Infiltrate a deadly ring of thieves, cons, and crooks.
2. Try to escape with your lives.

Penelope Blue used to be one of the best jewel thieves in New York City—but that was before falling in love with FBI poster boy Grant Emerson. Now she works at his side, helping her former enemy catch her past-life colleagues, and she couldn’t be happier.

If only Grant would remember to play by the rules.

Now he’s gone undercover on a cruise ship full of hardened criminals. To keep him safe, Penelope must pretend they’re nothing but strangers…while searching for an information broker desperately wanted by the FBI. While doing her darndest not to backslide and steal 20 million dollars’ worth of diamonds from beneath the noses of the criminal elite. It’s all Penelope can do to keep this mission afloat…

Good thing this cat burglar has plenty of lives to spare.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

Before my foot has a chance to touch the ground, my back comes into contact with a fleshy wall that I could swear wasn’t there a moment ago. A pair of strong hands grab me by the waist to ground me, the grip familiar for the fraction of a second it lingers.

“Whoa, there,” says a low, rumbling male voice. “Take it easy. You don’t look too steady on your feet.”

Even if I had been steady on my feet, I wouldn’t be now. I know those hands, and I know that voice—and more importantly, I know the body that houses them both.

“She’s fine,” Hijack says for me, his hand once again taking a proprietary place on the small of my back. “She’s not used to the constant movement of the ship yet, that’s all.”

I manage a feeble smile and look up into my husband’s face. It’s a testament to his skills as a federal agent and a man of steel that no signs of his emotions are apparent. At least, no signs of his emotions are apparent to anyone meeting him for the first time. As I know full well, that unreadable look in his eyes only appears when he’s hiding something.

Amusement, if I’m lucky. Anger, if I’m not. At this point, it could go either way. I guess I’m not the only one who noticed Hijack’s hands in my hair.

Grant lifts a brow. “Good thing she has you to take care of her. And to speak for her, it seems. Does she have a name?”

“As it so happens, she does.” I offer him my hand. “Penelope. Penelope Blue. And you are?”

“Kit O’Kelly, at your service.”

I fully expect him to shake my hand or, given the formal way he introduced himself, bow at the waist, but he lifts my fingers to his lips and drops a light kiss on the surface instead. Between the tuxedo molded to his godlike form and the dark hair that gleams in the moonlight, it’s all I can do not to swoon at the contact. Especially since he lingers a moment longer than necessary, the touch of his mouth soft and warm against my skin. The whisper of his breath is a reminder of everything I want right now—and everything I can’t have.

“Penelope Blue, Penelope Blue…” He says my name with the affectionate inflection he normally reserves for our private time together. “The name is familiar, but I can’t think why. Should I know you?”

I struggle to keep a laugh from springing to my lips. The question is a ridiculous one. There’s no man on earth who knows me better than this one; even before we were married, he had an alarming amount of insight into my inner workings.

“Probably not,” I say. “I’m a pretty small-time thief. But you might know my father, Warren Blue.”

He pretends to think about it for a moment before shaking his head. “No, that’s not it. Were you in Prague last year?”

“Uh, no. I’ve never been.”

“Paris in the winter of ’14?”

“I’m sorry. You must have me confused with someone else.”

“Impossible. I never forget a face, especially one as beautiful as yours.”

I can’t help it. I blush. It’s the cheesiest and most overused compliment in the world, but the way Grant’s eyes—no, the way Kit O’Kelly’s eyes—are devouring me makes me feel as if I’m standing on deck without a scrap of clothing on. It’s been less than two days since he and I parted ways, and already his absence has become a physical ache.

This is a man I cannot live without, I think. And this is a man who’s never been in more danger than he is right now.

Despite the balmy air of the Caribbean, I shiver.

He sees it, of course. The stubborn idiot is unable to hide his concern over my well-being and starts to shrug out of his jacket.

“You’re cold,” he says. “Let me.”

I jump back, determined to put as much space between us as possible. If he touches me again, if he keeps being solicitous and caring to a perfect stranger, Hijack is going to notice. My ex-boyfriend is far too interested in my FBI husband for my comfort level. The last thing we need is him asking more questions.

“I’m fine,” I state, even as goose bumps break out on my arms. “It was just a cold breeze.”

Hijack clears his throat, and I turn to him with a smile, grateful for the distraction he offers. “This is Hijack,” I say, nudging him forward. “I don’t think you’ll have heard of him either—he’s even smaller time than I am.”

Both men laugh obligingly.

“Hijack?” Grant offers his hand. “That’s an interesting name. Am I to take it literally?”

“Not while we’re on board the Shady Lady.” He shakes Grant’s hand, both their fingers gripped way too hard for a friendly greeting. “Except for the ship itself, there’s nothing here for me to hot-wire. We’re sorry to have interrupted your meal, but like I said, the lady needed some fresh air. She wasn’t feeling well.”

The lady still isn’t feeling a hundred percent, but no way is she going to show it. If Grant thinks for one second that I’m not able to see my side of this job through, we’re both done for. I’m supposed to be the one worrying about him out here, not the other way around.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

Tamara Morgan Prize Pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

~*~*~*~

About the Author

Tamara Morgan is a contemporary comedy romance author. Ninety-nine percent of her information comes from television, movies, books, and all other pop culture activities that limit the amount of time she has to spend in polite company.

Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them. She lives with her husband and daughter in the Inland Northwest, where the summers are hot, the winters are cold, and coffee is available on every street corner.

Tamara loves to participate in reader conversations, blog tours, and the occasional venture into public, so feel free to drop her an email at tamaramorganwrites (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tamara is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary and is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: HIGHLAND DRAGON MASTER by Isabel Cooper

0DDC8713-5396-44C2-803E-48040FB2AA98

HIGHLAND DRAGON MASTER (Dawn of the Highland Dragon, Book 3) by Isabel Cooper

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

582EAE0F-FC41-4248-8852-37A715CF0779Legend claims
When Scotland fell to English rule
The Highland dragons took a vow:
Freedom at any price.

The war for Scottish independence rages on, but it’s only a matter of time before England is victorious. Exhausted and battle-weary, Highland dragon Erik MacAlasdair will face unknown seas to seek the Templar stronghold and claim a power so great it could free his beloved homeland forever.

If only that kind of power didn’t come with such a terrible price.

Daughter of a mortal woman and an ancient dragon, Toinette has never forgotten the proud Scot who once stole her young heart—she’ll gladly fight at his side. But when dark forces leave them stranded on a cursed island, it will take everything they have to defy their fate…and trust the passion that burns within the heart of every dragon.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

It had been decades since Toinette had fought with another dragon-blooded. She’d forgotten how appealing it was: as heady and easy to lose herself as in any life-or-death battle, but without the risk of death for her men, and with no need at all to hold back. When Erik staggered from her kick to the knee, she grinned.

Toinette didn’t stop when he recovered himself and used his angle to land an excellent upward punch to her stomach. Though the blow knocked the breath out of her, there was a satisfaction in the impact—even in the pain. This was real. This was solid. She could feel it, with nothing ephemeral or confusing, and she could hit back.

She did. A fist to the jaw left Erik shaking his head. Toinette tried to follow up by sweeping a foot at his ankles, but he pivoted away, stepping nimbly over a fallen branch, and then used the momentum to come back at her with a boot to the thigh.

Ow. Damn.

That one might bruise. She almost laughed aloud. Then she darted back into the fray, throwing an uppercut that landed on Erik’s shoulder.

Before she could pull back, though, he grabbed her wrist, then turned his body with a fluid strength that Toinette admired even as it pulled her weight off-center. Mortal bones might have broken; hers held, but she went flying over Erik’s head to land in a patch of grass, tucking her head just in time to miss a tree trunk.

Erik followed up swiftly. Before Toinette could get to her feet, he was kneeling above her, one broad hand holding down each of her shoulders. He was smiling too. One lip was bloody from her fist, but that only made him look wilder—and more handsome. “One fall for you,” he growled. “Surrender?”

“Piss off,” said Toinette, and whipped her head upward toward his nose.

Erik dodged just in time, but the effort of doing so shifted his weight. Toinette shoved him off and backward; twigs snapped beneath his body. She rolled up to her feet, shifted to fighting stance, and waited.

As she’d thought he might, Erik charged her, shoulder first. If he’d taken Toinette square on, he might have won then—he weighed more, in human form, and was at least somewhat stronger—but she sidestepped neatly, grabbed the hair at the back of his head, and yanked. At the same time, she slammed her lower leg into the backs of his knees. The combination took him over backward.

It was her turn to pin him, and she didn’t bugger about with hands on shoulders. She dropped to her knees on Erik’s chest, sending the air out of him for a change. “Second,” she hissed, “goes to me.”

“Pulling hair,” he said, gasping to get his breath back. “Typical woman. Scratch my face next?”

“If I was truly being womanly, you’d have had a knee in your stones by now.”

“Aye,” he said, and smiled again. “You’ve aged past that, have you not?”

“No,” said Toinette. Looking down into his eyes, feeling the muscles in his chest straining under her palms, smelling his clean masculine sweat, she knew why she hadn’t gone near his groin. It would have been her second target in any other fight—second only because men were quick to defend that location, unless she distracted them with pain elsewhere first—but she’d wanted Erik uninjured in that regard.
She lunged forward. He raised his head at the same moment, and their mouths met with heat and force. All the vital energy of their fight changed in an instant, finding different channels, but the transformation was incomplete. Still they struggled against each other, warring for control with lips and tongues.

Toinette stretched herself out atop the hard length of Erik’s tall body. Her breasts flattened against his chest with exquisite friction. The pressure bordered on pain; she welcomed the bright heat of that edge, the clarity of the sensation. A knee on either side of Erik’s hips held her stable and let her feel his cock hardening between them, tenting the cloth of his hose and pushing against her mound.

Clothing was a very stupid idea.

She would have done something about it, but that would have meant releasing Erik, and she didn’t trust him not to take advantage of that. As she’d shifted position, he’d snaked a hand up and around her neck, his fingers long, forceful, and nearer her jugular than Toinette would have permitted from anyone else, particularly anyone whose nails could become claws with a thought.

With Erik, the contact sent tendrils of humming desire down through her body, hardening her nipples and spiraling inward to her sex. She made no move to shake his hand away. When he pressed her head down, crushing her mouth against his, the hint of pain only went well with the pleasure, a sharp wine with a rich meal.

Yet she had no wish to surrender. The fight was half the fun.

Toinette dug her fingers into Erik’s shoulders, hard enough for him to feel the nails even through his shirt. At the same time, she pulled back: not enough to stop kissing him—she didn’t want to do that—but far enough to bite his lower lip. She did no damage, but she wasn’t entirely gentle either.

The sound he made was as close to a growl as human lungs could manage. Erik’s hips flexed upward, hard and sudden and involuntary, driving his erection between his stomach and Toinette’s. As the heat in her own sex spread outward, she wondered if she could drive him over the edge still clothed. The thought made her pulse with arousal—and, at the same time, chuckle low in her throat.

Erik was the one to pull back this time. “Oh no, lass,” he said hoarsely. Sweat was beginning to glisten at his temples, darkening his golden hair, and his eyes were almost all pupil, but he had enough confidence to smile up at her again. “You’re not winning this one.”

Then, with a quick twist of his arms, he rolled them both over.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

3 Copies of HIGHLAND DRAGON WARRIOR

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

During the day, ISABEL COOPER maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager in legal publishing. In her spare time, she enjoys video games, ballroom dancing, various geeky hobbies, and figuring out what wine goes best with leftover egg rolls. Cooper lives with two thriving houseplants in Boston, Massachusetts.

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: NO EARLS ALLOWED by Shana Galen

15611BDB-116D-4AA6-B280-4C32C4B28132

NO EARLS ALLOWED (The Survivors) by Shana Galen

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

FE41CB54-D7BC-47BF-A97A-72FEF475C623It is a truth universally acknowledged
that a lady can do anything a man can do:
backwards and in high-heeled dancing slippers.

Lady Juliana, daughter of the Earl of St. Maur, needs all the help she can get. She’s running a ramshackle orphanage, London’s worst slumlord has illicit designs on her, and her father has suddenly become determined to marry her off.

Enter Major Neil Wraxall, bastard son of the Marquess of Kensington, sent to assist Lady Juliana in any way he can. Lucky for her, he’s handy with repairs, knows how to keep her and the orphans safe, and is a natural leader of men.

Unfortunately for both of them, the scandal that ensues from their mutual attraction is going to lead them a merry dance…

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

In this scene, Lady Juliana must deal with a local crime lord who threatens her and the orphanage she loves. Fortunately, she’s saved, for the moment, by a handsome guest.

____________________________________________________________________________________
His hand came down hard on her shoulder, and she flinched from the feel of his leather gloves on her bare skin. “Allow me to remind you, Lady Juliana. I offered you my protection.”
“Thank you very much.” She slid out of his grip. “Now, if you will excuse—”
“Stop playing games. I am a man of business, and you are not a stupid woman. There are dangerous men about, and you and the children who live here need a protector.”
Julia didn’t need to translate his words. He was the dangerous man.
“I am offering you my protection for a small fee.”
Small fee? “I do believe you mentioned one thousand pounds, Mr. Slag. That is no small fee.”
“Your father is an earl.”
“Yes, and most of his money is tied up in lands.”
“There is another option.” He moved closer, his round belly brushing against her dress. “You can pay the fee by offering me a place in your bed. You’re an attractive woman.” His gaze slid to her breasts, making her skin itch. “And even the gentry like a bit of slap and tickle. What do you say, Julia?”
Though abhorrent to her, he made the proposal in earnest. He probably thought it more than fair, and if she had been another woman she might have agreed without blinking an eye. Her father had tried to marry her off to men ranging from elderly to lecherous. What did Slag propose but a similar arrangement without the permanence of the vows?
But Julia had not come to Spitalfields to end up some man’s plaything. She could have stayed home in Mayfair and become a kept woman. Which meant her answer to Slag was an unqualified, Never. No! Not ever.
But one did not say such things to Mr. Slag and walk away with one’s brains intact. Julia liked her head round, not smashed flat on the carpet. And so she smiled and chose one of the many phrases she knew and had used in the past on the sons of dukes and viscounts and lowly barons. “Sir, you flatter me with your proposal, but this is all so sudden.”
“Then maybe you just need a bit of persuading.” He reached for her, and she took a step back. Dear God. She dearly hoped this would not turn into him chasing her about the parlor. And why hadn’t she seen this coming? The problem was that she spent only part of the week within the walls of the St. Dismas Home for Wayward Youth—er, rather Sunnybrooke Home for Boys, as she had renamed it. And during that time she was so absorbed with the problems of the boys and running the orphanage, she had no time to consider how to deal with Mr. Slag. And when she might have snatched a moment to deal with the problem, she had to return to Mayfair to be thrust into the world of the ton, and then Slag and Sunnybrooke seemed so far away.
But Slag was not far away now. He was far too near and her strategy of ignoring him and hoping he’d go away would not work this time.
She took another step back, and he followed, but she was saved from running behind her desk when someone tapped on the parlor door.
“Come in!” she yelled. “Please!”
The door opened to reveal Mr. Goring. “Sorry to interrupt, my lady.”
“Not at all, Mr. Goring. Come in.” She crossed to him and pulled him inside. “You should join us.”
He frowned at her as though the ways of the upper classes were foreign and mysterious to him. “You have another caller, my lady.”
Julia frowned. Another caller? Who on earth would be calling on her here? “Do you know the caller?”
“No, my lady. He says it’s a matter of—what was the word?—urgency.”
He? Then the thought struck her. It was a representative from the bank. Perhaps the board had made good on its threat not to pay the mortgage and the bank had come to close her down.
“Tell him to come back later,” Slag ordered.
“No!” Bank representative or no, whoever it was would be an improvement on Slag. “Show him in, Mr. Goring.”
Goring looked from her to Slag.
“Go on, Mr. Goring,” she said as forcefully as she could. “Show him in.”
“Maybe I should come back at a more opportune time,” Slag said.
“Please do, Mr. Slag. I am so sorry we were interrupted.”
“May I call on you tonight?”
“Tonight? No. I’m very, very busy tonight.”
He lifted his stick then crossed to her and took her hand. At some point during their little dance, he’d removed his gloves, and as she’d removed hers in the kitchen, the press of his bare fingers on hers made her throat tighten.
“You can’t put me off forever, Lady Juliana,” he said softly. “Lest you forget, I’m a man who gets what I want. And the longer you make me wait, the more I want.”
With that he strolled out of the room, jostling the man entering. The two stopped, looked each other up and down, and then with a warning glare, Slag went on his way.
The other man watched him, then strode into the room. “Friend of yours?” he asked.
Julia let out a breath then caught it again. She blinked at the man before her, but she had not dreamed him. He was better than any dream her mind might have conjured. It was as though he had just stepped out of a painting depicting a god or an angel. He was tall but not so tall she had to crane her neck to look up at him, and he had olive skin with a touch of gold. His thickly lashed eyes were the most beautiful shade of blue she had ever seen. She had never been to the Mediterranean Sea, but this was what she imagined the waters would look like. His hair brushed his collar, the thick waves falling about his face. With a cupped hand, he brushed them back in what must have been a habitual gesture, then seeming to remember his manners, bowed to her.
His bow and the attention it drew to his clothing told her everything she needed to know. This man was no crime lord. He was of her father’s ilk. Her ilk, when she was playing the part of Lady Juliana in Mayfair drawing rooms. His dark coat fit snugly over broad shoulders, his cravat was snowy white against bronze skin, and his breeches strained quite nicely over muscled thighs…
She tried to speak over the pounding of her heart. “You will forgive me, sir, if I do not recall having met you before.” She hadn’t met him. If she’d met him, she would not have forgotten.

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About the Author

imageShana Galen is the national bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books have been sold in Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands and featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She is a happily married wife and mother of a daughter and a spoiled cat and lives in Houston, Texas.

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