Posted in Giveaway, romance, Spotlight, Western on August 19, 2017

KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS

Texas Heroes Series

by

LINDA BRODAY

  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Date of Publication: August 1, 2017

Number of Pages: 352

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Duel McClain buries his wife and infant son, climbs in the saddle, and rides off. Locked in grief, he drifts from one Texas town to another as the months pass. He rides into a border town and gets in a card game in the saloon. On the last hand, the opponent across from him runs out of money. The man reaches down for a baby and plunks her in the center of the table. Whoever wins the pot, gets her too. After Duel wins with the Deadman’s Hand, he tries to give the baby back. But when the man tells him he’ll sell her, Duel keeps his prize.

On the way back to his home, he runs across a woman covered in blood. She only says her name is Jessie and the blood isn’t hers. The deep fear in her eyes touches Duel and he has to do something. He strikes a bargain—he’ll take her anywhere she wants to go in return for helping with the child.

Jessie sees honor, respect, and kindness in his eyes. And the moment she holds the baby in her arms, her heart melts. Once they reach Duel’s home, she confesses she killed her husband and tells him the law will come. Desperate to save her, he offers marriage and she accepts.

They settle in and love develops. But each day grows more tense. Lawmen are coming and they can’t stop them. Soon, she’ll face the hangman’s rope.

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Praise for Knight on the Texas Plains

“Broday (the Men of Legend series) has a knack for capturing the hesitations of both Duel and Jessie and unfurling a twisting plot without resorting to melodrama. Through carefully deployed flashbacks, she slowly exposes the horrors of Jessie’s marriage, culminating in a truly grisly image of depravity without overwhelming the tender love story. Fans of historical romances will be pleased.”  ~~ Publisher’s Weekly

“The instant a sweet baby girl, an abused woman, a stray dog, and a reluctant hero meet, readers are drawn into a tender and tough love story that touches many emotions and will have them believing in the healing power of love.”  ~~ Romantic Times 4 ½ Stars Top Pick!

“Broday’s latest is a tender romance to touch the heart.”  ~~ Bookpage

“This story is simply endearing, packed with powerful message of humanity and the true healing power of family and love!!” ~~ Addicted to Romance  

“Throughout the well-paced story, there was suspense, tears, fear, revulsion, and no shortage of laughter and joy. I didn’t want the story to end.” ~~ Teresa on Goodreads

Linda Broday, Historical Western Romance Author  I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 8 full length historical western romance novels, with another set to release 2017, and 10 short stories. Watching TV westerns during my youth fed my love of cowboys and the old West and they still do. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. At times, I can feel their ghosts lurking around every corner. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here. I love research and looking for little known tidbits to add realism to my stories. When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I confess to being a rock hound. I’ve been accused (and quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places. I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic on the screen. As long as I’m confessing…chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.

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8/15/17 Guest Post Forgotten Winds
8/16/17 Review The Librarian Talks
8/17/17 Character Interview Books and Broomsticks
8/18/17 Review Margie’s Must Reads
8/19/17 Notable Quotable StoreyBook Reviews
8/20/17 Author Interview Reading by Moonlight
8/21/17 Review CGB Blog Tours
8/22/17 Scrapbook Page Missus Gonzo
8/23/17 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
8/24/17 Excerpt My Book Fix Blog

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Posted in 4 paws, Giveaway, Review, romance on August 17, 2017

Title: HEARTS AT SEASIDE (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 3)
Author: Addison Cole
Publisher: World Literary Press
Pages: 280
Genre: Sweet with Heat Romance

Synopsis

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel Seaside Hearts. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

In HEARTS at SEASIDE…
Jenna Ward is vivacious, spontaneous, and confident–except when she’s around the man who stole her heart years earlier, strikingly handsome, quiet, and reliable Pete Lacroux. After years of trying to get his attention and overwhelmed from dealing with her mother’s new cougar lifestyle, Jenna’s giving up on Peter–and is ready to explore other men.

As the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing and has no time for a real relationship. He’s looking forward to seeing his friend Jenna, a welcome distraction who’s so sexy and painfully shy that she equally entertains and confuses him.

When Jenna picks up a hard-bodied construction worker, jealousy ignites Pete’s true feelings, and he’s unable to ignore the desires for Jenna he never realized he had. But Pete’s not the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship. Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux–the most alpha male she’s ever seen–or will she crack under pressure? And can Pete reclaim the life he once had without tearing apart his family?

SWEET WITH HEAT: SEASIDE SUMMERS SERIES
Read, Write, Love at Seaside
Dreaming at Seaside
Hearts at Seaside
Sunsets at Seaside
Secrets at Seaside
Nights at Seaside
Seized by Love at Seaside
Embraced at Seaside
Lovers at Seaside
Whispers at Seaside

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Excerpt

There should be an unwritten rule about drooling over construction workers, but Jenna Ward was sure glad there wasn’t. She sat on the porch of the Bookstore Restaurant, soaking up the deliciousness of the three bronzed males clad in nothing more than jeans and glistening muscles that flexed and bulged like an offering to the gods as they forced thick, sticky tar into submission. Their jeans hung low on strong hips, gripping their powerful thighs like second skins and ending in scuffed and tarred work boots. What red-blooded woman didn’t get worked up over a gorgeous shirtless man in work boots?

Heaven help her, because she needed this distraction to take away her desire for Peter Lacroux, which went hand in hand with summers on the Cape and consumed her in the nine months they were apart. She zeroed in on one particularly handsome blond construction worker. His hair was nearly white, his jaw square and manly. She wanted to march right out to the middle of the road that split the earth between the restaurant and the beach and be manhandled into submission. Right there on the tar. Wrestled and groped until all thoughts of Pete evaporated.

“Wipe the drool from your chin, chica.” Amy Maples handed Jenna a margarita and, pointedly, a fresh napkin, as she settled into the chair across from her. “Goodness, woman. What’s up with you this summer? I swear you’re in heat. I can practically smell your pheromones from over here.”

Jenna gulped her drink and righted her red bikini top, which was trying its hardest to relieve itself of her enormous breasts. Even her bikini top was ready for a man. A real man. A man who craved her as much as she craved him.

Jenna reluctantly turned away from Testosterone Road and faced her best friends. The women she had spent her summers with here in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, for as long as she could remember and the women she hoped would help her through her most important summer ever.

Review

Great beach read….especially since it is set in a beachside town!

Jenna has been crushing on Pete for years. Pete has noticed her but it takes her asking another guy out to spur him into action. Typical guy move IMHO! But I do like that he realized that Jenna is someone he wanted to pursue and get to know better and wasn’t going to let her get taken by another man. And the chemistry between the two could set off smoke alarms.

But there is more to this story than just a romance – it is also dealing with grief of losing a parent, whether it is to death or divorce, grief is grief and Jenna and Pete both have to deal with parents that are not handling it well. At first they want to handle it on their own and keep it close, as if it was a dirty secret. But I liked that they both learned something from each other and their respective situations – relationships is more than just physical and you have to connect in many other ways as well.

The 4 friends also have a close bond and are there for each other even in the middle of the night! Thankfully the men in the picture understand and respect their friendship.

One other thing that I appreciate is that the sex is behind closed doors. There is a lot that leads up to it and you know where it is going, but it is not spelled out for you. I prefer that as I can leave it the details up to my imagination.

This is the 3rd in a series so I am guessing the first two books are Leanna and Bella’s stories since they have their men. Amy will be book 4 and we already know who she will end up with.

We give this 4 paws up

About the Author

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

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DOWNLOAD the first book in Addison’s Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series free: READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE on Amazon.

Giveaway

Addison Cole is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

Terms & Conditions:

By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

One winner will be chosen to receive $10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.

This giveaway ends midnight August 18.

Winner will be contacted via email on August 19.

Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, paranormal, romance on August 16, 2017

Title: SEAL Wolf Undercover

Author: Terry Spear

Series: SEAL Wolf, #5

Pub Date: August 1, 2017

Synopsis

Never be so foolish as to fall for the enemy…

Special wolf agent Jillian Matthews has joined the jaguar-run United Shifter Force to track down a deadly criminal. She’s even willing to work with PI Vaughn Greystroke—until the hot, growly SEAL wolf makes the mistake of getting in her way. Naturally, she shoots him. Who could blame her?

Vaughn Greystroke has always worked alone. But when a string of attempted murders puts him in the crosshairs, teaming up with the Shifter Force begins to sound like a good idea. Even if he has to work with alluring—and potentially treacherous—Jillian Matthews. Vaughn is a trained SEAL, after all. He can surely keep his distance from Jillian…no matter how much she’s getting under his skin.

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Excerpt

Formerly an army intelligence officer and now a PI, Jillian Matthews had agreed to go out with her brother Miles’s friend as a favor, but man did the guy have octopus arms. Oh sure, he was fun, but way more interested than she was. The guy several tables over, now he got her attention. If she didn’t know any better, she’d say he was all wolf, though some human males showed the same wolfish interest in a woman, even if she was with someone else. She’d never think about dumping a guy on a date when he was being nice, especially when it was to pay her brother back for his help in solving one of her cases. But she’d made sure she said it was only one date, unless she changed her mind.

Everything about the club was a blast—the music, drinks, dancers, and atmosphere—yet the man at the other table truly stole her attention tonight.

“Did you want to return here tomorrow night?” Miles asked.

She smiled at her brother. She’d love to if the other guy was going to be here.  He had dark hair, chiseled features, tanned biceps. He was muscular but not overdone, and had a darkly, intriguing smile that made her melt.

“Sure,” she said, secretly wishing she could see tall, dark, and intriguing. Maybe tomorrow he would ask her to dance or she’d ask him. The guy’s own date looked bored and Jillian hadn’t seen him dance until women began asking him. As soon as a blond did, it was like a signal to other single women that he was interested and available. If Jillian had been without a date, even she would have asked him to dance. She’d help him move that gorgeous body right up close and personal. Her own date wasn’t interested in dancing with anyone else, so she curbed the inclination. She could envision hanging onto the guy too, if he still piqued her interest and not allow any other woman to take a turn with him.

“Hey, you ready to go?” Miles asked, breaking into her fantasy. “If I’m going to help you on that next case, I need some sleep.”

His date was a human woman, and Jillian knew her brother too well. Sleep wasn’t what he had in mind at all.

“Yeah, agreed.”

“I can take you back to your hotel,” her date said, as if he were looking for some mattress action too.

“Oh, thanks so much, but no, that’s fine. Miles is right. We have to get up before the crack of dawn.”

She and Miles rose from the table, Jillian’s date not making a move to leave. “See you tomorrow night then,” he said.

Not if she could help it. She gathered her sweater and bag, and though she didn’t want to seem too obvious that she was interested in the other guy, she glanced back at him. He inclined his head a little to her and her whole body flushed with heat.

He was so hot. Yeah, he was the date she wanted tomorrow night, whether he had   a date with him or not.

Then suddenly a scream caught Jillian’s attention. One of the corner chains holding a dancer’s platform had broken loose, and the dancer on it screamed again. Thank God the dancer had reacted quickly enough to grab one of the remaining four chains holding it up before she fell. Dangling twenty feet above the patrons, she clung precariously to the end of the chain, looking up as if she was thinking of trying to climb up it. Before Jillian could do anything, the wolfish guy she had been admiring had climbed the ladder to the platform. He leapt to one of the chains still holding the platform, and shimmied across the top of it to reach the chain the dancer was holding onto.

The music was still in heavy jungle beat mode, most patrons unaware of the potential tragedy unfolding before them. Jillian rushed to tell a server to get help and to turn off the music so the guy rescuing the woman could concentrate.

“Hell, that’s part of the show,” the server said, smiling at her. “You’re not from around here, are you?”

“The guy trying to rescue her is part of it too?”

The server glanced up at him. “No. Once in a blue moon we get some hero type that has to show off how macho he is. He must not be from around here either.”

“He could injure himself! Kill himself even!”

“Safety nets spring up and will catch them if they fall. We’ve only had one case where we’ve had to use them, and everyone, including the would-be hero, loved it.”

Then the man managed to climb down the chain to the woman and had her crawl up his body. As agile as she was, she probably could have made it up the chain by herself if the heroic guy hadn’t tried to rescue her. The dancer wrapped her legs around his waist, her arms around his neck as he made the treacherous climb up.

Even so, Jillian was practically holding her breath. The visitor wasn’t part of the show, and any misstep on his part could mean the two of them could fall. Maybe he knew this was part of the show. Maybe the waiter didn’t realize it.

The music was still playing, but a lot more of the patrons had stopped to watch, probably because only once in a blue moon someone came to the dancer’s rescue.

At the top edge of the platform, the guy made his way across the wooden edge until he reached the next corner chain. He paused there for the longest time. The music was still playing, the only lights the ones highlighting the dancers on their platforms. The other dancers no longer moved, riveted by their fellow dancer and the heroic guy. If he jumped to the ladder and missed, that would be the end of the show, and the dancer and the good Samaritan would fall. What if the net didn’t appear in time?

Jillian wanted to do something, anything to help him. All she could do was lamely watch and pray he was successful.

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Terry Speer has written over 35 paranormal romances featuring werewolf and jaguar shapeshifters. In 2008, Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Spring, Texas.

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Giveaway

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Western on August 15, 2017

Title: Knight on the Texas Plains

Author: Linda Broday

Series: Texas Heroes, #1

Pub Date: August 1, 2017

Synopsis

He’ll do whatever it takes

To keep them safe

Duel McClain has lost everything he’s ever loved: his wife, his son, his sense of self. But when a strange twist of fate—and a poker game he’ll never forget—leaves an innocent little girl in his care, Duel vows to defend his new family to his very last breath. If only he knew a single thing about taking care of babies…

Just as Duel swears his life can’t get any more complicated, a beautiful woman stumbles into the light of his campfire, desperate for help. Jessie Foltry is hungry, tired, and running for her life. She agrees to help Duel care for the child in exchange for his protection, even as she fights to guard her broken heart. But Duel will do whatever it takes to make Jessie see that the Texas plains have more than one kind of knight, and perhaps their salvation is closer than either of them could have dreamed…

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Excerpt

Duel McClain lifted the whiskey glass and let the fiery elixir slide down his throat. The burning path brought an odd sort of relief, momentarily dulling the permanent ache in his belly. The dealer slapped three cards in front of him. Duel took his time picking them up. A baby, whimpering at the men’s feet, unraveled the tightly knit threads of his composure. How could he concentrate with that?

A glance at the first card revealed an ace of spades. He stuck it between the eight of hearts and the two of clubs in his hand. Then he turned over an eight of diamonds. A pair might take the hefty pot in the middle of the table—that is, if he cared enough to try. Shielding his last card from the curious eyes of his opponents, he lifted it slowly. An ace of clubs.

His blood turned to ice.

Aces and eights—the deadman’s hand.

A resigned calm welled up. If lady luck rode with Duel tonight, the only space he’d take up would be on Boot Hill.

Something brushed the leg of his trousers. An animal must have sneaked under the swinging batwing doors and beneath the table. The baby’s sniffling grew louder. Tiny hands gripped his leg getting his attention. What in blue blazes? He leaned down. The baby had crawled to him and now tugged, trying to pull itself upright. Thin and dirty, the child stared up at him and he fought against the protective urge that rose at the sight of tears glistening in the kid’s big brown eyes.

“Up the bet, mister, or fold.”

The dealer broke his trance. Duel pitched two bits onto the pile. He just wanted to get this over with and leave. One by one each opponent around the table tossed down their cards in defeat until just two remained in the game—him and the stranger. The baby gurgled and played with the fringe running the length of Duel’s leg.

He shifted in his seat, feeling as if a gang of horse thieves had staked him out in a red-ant bed. If he had a lick of sense he’d fold and get the hell out. Deadman’s hand be damned.

A smug expression drifted across the face of the babe’s father when Duel closed up his cards, intending to lay them down.

Revulsion made Duel ache to smash the stranger’s jaw. Instead, he reached into his pocket for six bits—all that he possessed. He hesitated for only a split second, glancing down at the filthy child who deserved more out of life than the sorry-assed father it had gotten. Then he shifted his gaze, savoring the look of surprise on his opponent’s face when he placed his bet.

The sour-faced weasel had been ready to reach for the pot, sure he’d won. His face colored. He was reduced to turning each of his pockets inside out for more coins. None came to light.

“Whatcha gonna do, Will? Either come up with more or Duel here wins.” The dealer’s impatience grew.

“Hold your horses.” The man named Will leaned down. “Gal, where’d you go? Git your useless hide over here to your pa. Don’t know why I didn’t drown you when you was born.”

So, the child was a girl. Duel reached down and drew her up.

The weasel snatched the girl by one fragile arm. “Tryin’ to steal my daughter?”

Ignoring the question and the loud wails that came from the child, Duel leaned forward to scoop up his winnings.

“Not so fast, mister.” Will sat the baby in the middle of the table. “I’m puttin’ up this here brat. She’s worth six bits, I reckon. You win an’ you got yourself a young’un.”

“I won’t gamble with a man’s flesh and blood,” Duel said.

The dealer frowned. “The bet’s proper, I say. Let’s get on with it. Show your cards, Will.”

Tears ran down the baby girl’s face leaving white trails amid the filth. For a split second, Duel wished he held more than the lousy two pair, wished he could alter the hands of fate. But he’d never been able to change it before. What made him think he could now? He’d spent a lifetime making choices, and most had turned out wrong.

“Quit your sniveling, you brat,” Will snapped at the child as he flipped his cards face up. Two pair also. Kings and deuces.

Quiet calm washed over Duel. He gave the group a wintry smile and revealed his hand.

“Aces n’ eights. Beats your pair, Will. Done in by the Deadman’s hand.” The dealer straightened his silk vest and poured himself a generous drink.

Duel stuffed the coins from the pot into his pockets. What on God’s earth did a man like him need with a babe? The girl had stuck a thumb in her mouth and sucked noisily on it between whimpers. He’d sooner grow wings and fly than take on the responsibility for another human being. The best thing would be to saunter out the door.

“Ain’t you forgettin’ something, mister?” Will’s nasty snarl whipped the stale air like a thin, razor-sharp piece of leather.

Much as he sympathized with the babe’s lot, he couldn’t accept her. “Take her home to her maw. Don’t have any need for a kid.”

Will grabbed his daughter’s sparse hair and pulled her small face next to his own. Ignoring her sharp cries, he yelled, “Ain’t got no maw. See there, Marley Rose. Ain’t no one wants you. You’re about as worthless as one of them Confederate greenbacks. Ain’t never goin’ to be any good for nothin’. Any o’ you cowpokes wanna buy a snot-nosed brat? Sell her cheap.”

Duel found himself reaching for the scared, helpless babe. “Changed my mind. Believe I’ll take what I won.” Tiny hands clung tightly to the neck of his collarless shirt as he strode for the door before he could backtrack.

 

About the Author

At a young age, Linda Broday discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up! A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She now resides in the panhandle of Texas on the Llano Estacado.

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Giveaway

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Posted in Giveaway, Historical, romance on August 9, 2017

Celebrate National Book Lovers Day by indulging in a classic Regency romance

or perhaps trying a story from a Proper Romance author you haven’t read before.

Synopsis

Twenty-six-year-old Katie Macauley has placed all her hope in Hope Springs, a small town in the 1870 Wyoming Territory. But if she wants to return home to Ireland to make amends with her estranged family, she’ll need to convince the influential Joseph Archer to hold true to his word and keep her on his payroll as his housekeeper despite her Irish roots. The town is caught in an ongoing feud between the Irish and the “Reds” the frontiersmen who would rather see all the Irish run out of town and the Irish immigrants who are fighting to make a home for themselves in the New World. When Joseph agrees to keep Katie on as his housekeeper, the feud erupts anew, and Katie becomes the reluctant figurehead for the Irish townsfolk. As the violence escalates throughout the town, Katie must choose between the two men who have been vying for her love though only one might be able to restore hope to her heart.

Giveaway

Open to US & Canada Residents

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on August 9, 2017

Synopsis

The rules are simple:

Never speak to outsiders.

Never yearn for something more.

And never, ever seek the pleasure of a stolen kiss…or a whispered promise that with him, she can finally be free.

Abby Merkley has been a member of the Church of the Apocalyptic Faith since she was a child, and there’s no way out…until her darkly handsome, brooding neighbor defies the rules and takes her into the safety of his arms.

He should frighten her, but everything inside Abby thrills at Luc Stanek’s rough manners and shockingly gentle touch. He excites her, ignites her, leaves her shaken and wanting more. But evil men follow in her footsteps, and it may take more than one fierce beauty to defend her loving beast.

Blank Canvas series:

Under Her Skin (Book 1)

By Her Touch (Book 2)

In His Hands (Book 3)

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Excerpt

“You don’t smile,” she said.

He stopped pruning so abruptly that Abby almost ran right into him.

“No?”

Shaking her head, she looked at his face and mirrored his frown before saying a purse-lipped, “Non,” in imitation of his accent.

And there, miracle of miracles, the man did it. His lips curved up. Or almost. One side of his mouth lifted—the side with the scar—and, oh goodness, it was a dimple. What kind of trick was it that this big, burly man had to suffer through the indignity of a dimple?

And much, much worse was her having to suffer through that smile.

She wanted to touch it, the divot in his cheek. Or those lips, or that thick, rough-looking neck, which was more cleanly shaven than the first time she’d come here.

Did he do that for me? she wondered as she turned away, reaching for…anything to stop herself. Branches.

Those would do. Pull, throw, wait—red face averted—and move on.

They’d finished the row without speaking and moved on to the next by the time Abby could breathe normally again. Surprise, surprise, he was the one to finally break the silence.

“Besides no cap, what else do you wish for?”

She didn’t hesitate before saying, “A place of my own.”

“Yes?”

“Nothing big, just a…a room. Where I could listen to music, maybe?”

“You can’t do that there?”

“Oh, we sing all right. Best part of the Church is the singing.”

“What do you sing?”

“Hymns.”

“I don’t know any.”

Without thinking it through, she sang a verse from one of her favorites. “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful: the Lord God made them all.”

When she met his eye, Luc was…not quite smiling, but close. His eyes were warm, his expression…admiring, maybe? Abby blushed with the realization of what she’d just done.

He said one word: “Pretty.” But something about the way he said it, his eyes eating up her face, made her cheeks burn hotter and breath come faster. To hide it, she turned quickly back to work.

Changing the topic, she cleared her throat and asked, “So, how much is a place to rent?”

“What?”

“A room to live in. How much money do I need for that?”

He shrugged. “Depends. Big cities, it’s a lot, I think. Around here? I don’t know. Maybe a few hundred a month?”

“Good Lord, that is a lot.”

“Life is expensive.” He shrugged and cut, the movement lifting shoulders massive enough to carry the weight of the world.

“Right. So…you have to pay for food, right? And what else you gotta pay for?”

“Electricity. Um, water and gas, things like that.”

“Gas for the car?”

“For your car and for your stove or heat.”

“Oh. So…I’d need a lot. To start a life.”

“A good amount, yes. You need to pay a guarantee as well, I think, if it’s like France. And references for the landlord.” He glanced at her. “This makes you unhappy?”

“Guess I thought… I thought I could work for you for a couple weeks and have enough to start a life.”

“It’s hard, Abby.” His eyes on her were steady and full of a new softness that she wasn’t entirely comfortable with, like he’d taken off a layer of her skin to speak to her insides.

“Blue jeans, too,” she said, forcing a touch of flippancy to her tone.

“What?”

“Jeans. I’d like to wear jeans with snaps and a zipper, like a normal person.”

“Like a slim?” The word came out with two Es in the middle: sleem. She shook her head, not understanding.

“Um, skinny jeans?” he clarified.

“Goodness, no!” She laughed. “I’d need time to adjust to just trousers first, but…” Letting her gaze rest on the valley before them, she thought of the hundreds—no, thousands—of women who walked around every day wearing practical clothing instead of these stiff cotton skirts and modest drawers she had to fight her way out of. “I’d like to look normal when I go into town, to feel free. Just a T-shirt and jeans. Those sneaker shoes to

walk in. Maybe some—”

She stopped, hating how her current thought embarrassed her. It wasn’t the wish so much as the fantasy surrounding it.

“Some?”

“Boots. Cowboy boots, you know? The kind you stomp around in.” Except stomping wasn’t what she envisioned when she said it. In her mind’s eye, she pictured herself in jeans by all rights tighter than she should want to wear them; a cute shirt—maybe something sparkly, but not too fancy, since part of her just wanted a plain T-shirt; and those boots with their small heel and slightly pointed toe. And all of this dancing on the arm of a man. This man, truth be told. It was this man in her fantasy, which sent a new wash of heat prickling against

the cold air, from her chest to her forehead and well into her hairline.

“I can’t imagine you stomping.”

“No? I’d be good at it.”

Their eyes met as he said, “I don’t doubt it.” The words, silly and inconsequential as they were, sent blood rushing right down her body to where it didn’t belong. Somehow that blood weighed her down, made her lids heavy, and sent her mouth to drooping in a way she was sure he could see.

And then she knew he could, because his eyes strayed there, lingering before one thick, rough-hewn hand followed.

A single knuckle swiped her bottom lip in a gesture not so much affectionate as…curious? Compulsive?

Like a baby who couldn’t help but touch a ball or stuff it in his mouth. To taste. To feel. To know.

It was over too soon, that swipe. And yet, somehow, it lasted forever. Suspended here on the mountain, in their thick cloud of burning vine and sparks, the cold melted away by more than just the fire.

After that long hitch in time, Abby inhaled and let the air out in hiccups—the shaky kind you couldn’t help making after a good, hard sob. But rather than the release of a big cry, his knuckle to her lip screwed everything up tight, made her insides overflow with whatever this was.

She was sure she’d pop. She had to.

Because Lord only knew what she’d do if this pressure didn’t release sometime soon.

About the Author

Adriana Anders has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small nonprofits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children and fat French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, gritty, emotional love stories of her heart.

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Posted in Giveaway, Historical, romance on August 6, 2017

Celebrate National Sisters Day with a book about Cassie, whose attempts to play matchmaker go awry when she falls in love with her sister’s potential suitor.

Synopsis

Cassie, the youngest of six daughters in the Wilton family, is bold, bright, and ready to enter society. There’s only one problem: her older sister Lenora, whose extreme shyness prevents her from attending many social events. Lenora is now entering her third season, and since their father has decreed that only one Wilton girl can be out at a time, Cassie has no choice except to wait her turn.

Evan Glenside, a soft-spoken, East London clerk, has just been named his great-uncle’s heir and, though he is eager to learn all that will be required of him, he struggles to feel accepted in a new town and in his new position.

A chance meeting between Evan and Lenora promises to change everything, but when Lenora proves too shy to pursue the relationship, Cassie begins to write Mr. Glenside letters in the name of her sister. Her good intentions lead to disaster when Cassie realizes she is falling in love with Evan. But then Evan begins to court Lenora, thinking she is the author of the letters.

As secrets are revealed, the hearts of Cassie, Evan, and Lenora are tested. Will the final letter sent by the vicar’s daughter be able to reunite the sisters as well as unite Evan with his true love?

You can read my review here

Giveaway

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, romance on August 5, 2017

Synopsis

’TIL DEATH DO US BARK…

Wedding planner Zoe Plum has brides from all walks of life vying for her services. The only problem is: happily-single Zoe doesn’t actually enjoy weddings―but that might change when she meets the singer of a local band playing at one of her weddings. His name is Levi Dolson and he’s too gorgeous for his own good. And now he’s gone ahead and charmed her new dachshund. . .

It’s no secret that Zoe doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to make sweet music with Levi. While she’s convinced she doesn’t need a man, when someone starts setting one trap after the next to make sure she never plans a wedding ever again, she might need Levi in more ways than she could have imagined. But just how far is Zoe’s hidden enemy willing to go? The only thing Levi knows for sure is that he will do everything in his power to protect the woman who brings music to his soul. Maybe that will prove to Zoe, once and for all, that he is a man worthy of her heart.

Review

Holy Mackerel – I did not see that ending coming!

This is the 3rd book in the rescue dog romance series and while you don’t have to read the first two books, it does give you a little more information on the characters and the history they have with each other.

This book focuses on Zoe Plum – wedding planner extraordinaire and best friend to Piper and Addison. Zoe has a lot she has to deal with in this book -finding out some information about her mom’s situation, adopting a cute dachshund, and finding out the truth about herself and what she wants out of life. It doesn’t hurt that she meets Levi and he seems more in her than she sees in herself, which is a good and a bad thing because it is forcing her to face the truth she has been avoiding for 6 years.

The book also has a mystery – there is a slayer on the loose in San Francisco and Zoe’s business seems to have been targeted to put her out of business. Who is doing all of this? Is it who she thinks – her nemesis Chelsea? You’ll have to read the book to find out but I don’t think you’ll discover the answer before it is revealed!

We give it 4 paws up!

About the Author

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.

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Posted in 4 paws, excerpt, Review, romance, Trailer on August 4, 2017

Synopsis

In high school, Charlotte Windham was a typical student going through an awkward phase — glasses and all. She harbored a crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob everyone can’t help but fall for during that unfortunate ugly duckling phase of one’s teen years. Flash forward fifteen years later, and Charlotte and Garrett have a second chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around, Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist and no longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett called her in high school. In short, she’s a catch now and, thanks to corrective eye surgery, it’s not just her eyes that see better…so does her heart! Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario. A now successful professional golfer, he’s recently suffered a major setback in the form of a possible career-ending injury. With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him?

Excerpt

I stand but hesitate when I see Tamika’s disapproving look. Fi notices as well. “It’s okay, T. I got this,” she says, motioning for me to follow her back. When we get to her small office, she closes the door and gestures for me to sit on a red vinyl chair, circa 1972. She stands in front of me, leaning against the desk, and crosses her arms in front of her chest. “Spill!”

“Where should I start?”

“At the beginning.” She walks around to her chair behind the desk and pulls out a yellow legal pad.

For the next half hour, I go over my encounter with Garrett, from the moment we bumped into each other and he didn’t recognize me, to the embarrassment of being called ‘Glasses.’

Fi takes notes furiously on her pad and grins, nods, and cringes at all the appropriate times. When I finish, she puts her pen down and asks, “Do you want the ‘best friend experience’ or the ‘brilliant legal mind experience’?”

I can’t help but laugh. “Are they mutually exclusive?”

“They are,” she says nodding.

“Okay. I want the best friend experience.”

She rushes around from behind the desk, wraps her arms around me soothingly. “I’m so sorry, hon. That sounds just awful. Let’s go get margaritas tomorrow and drown our sorrows in tequila and lime wedges.”

“Thanks, Fi. You’re the best.”

“Anytime,” she says, rubbing my back. She pulls away and walks around to the back of her desk. She sits down and puts the legal pad to the side. I can’t help but notice the writing scrawled across it.

“Just for kicks, what would you have said if I had asked for the ‘brilliant legal mind experience’?”

“You sure you want to know?” Her lips pull into a grim line. Honestly, I’m not sure I do want to know, but curiosity gets the better of me.

“Lay it on me,” I say.

“You need to get laid. Not the kind of bland, missionary style sex you had with Alex. You need hot heat, sweating up the sheets, crazy animal sex.”

I bust out laughing. “That’s your brilliant legal advice. Crazy animal sex?”

“Yes. That’s my brilliant legal advice,” she says with complete seriousness. “Listen, hon, it’s been a year since that insecure jerk Keane dumped you. I have no doubt it’s been even longer since you’ve, well, you know.” She wags her eyebrows up and down. “Before that, you only seriously dated Travis the cheater and Alex who, let’s face it, despite being completely gonzo for you, was a cold fish and a bore. It’s time to stop comparing every man to this fantasy of Garrett Stephens and just do it with him to get it out of your system. He asked you out for Saturday night. Go! Enjoy!”

“I don’t compare every man to Garrett,” I snap at her.

“Don’t you?” she asks, looking down at me sternly.

“I’m offended you even suggested that.” She looks at me, her sharp eyes boring into me, like she can read my every thought and knows I’m full of it. I imagine this is how she bears down on witnesses on the stand. I don’t like being on the receiving end of that look.

“Even if that’s true,” I start and she nods her head, “and I’m not conceding it is.” I point my finger at her. “Even if he did mean to ask me out, there’s no way it’s a good idea. He’s a total player. It would only be one night of fun and I don’t think I could get over that kind of hurt.”

“Then you need to get over it now. Sorry for the tough love, hon, but you need to move past the fantasy of this man and find someone passionate and amazing who is deserving to love you for all of the great things you have to offer including your messed-up childhood and your incredible success today.”

Review

I really liked this romance novel! It was a little different as the two main characters, Garrett and Charlotte, took their time in getting to know one another as friends – or learn how each person was today vs when they were in high school. Sure maybe they had some hang ups from that time, but as with anyone, we learn from our past to change the future. I like how both characters saw something more in the other and help pushed for that growth. Of course there were still insecurities to deal with especially on Charlotte’s side, but that is part of being human!

There were lots of funny moments that made me smile or giggle. Garrett’s family was a bit nuts! And playing “I Never” at the cabin one weekend with the family?! Perhaps a bit TMI…or at least I don’t know what to know about intimate details about my siblings. Then there is Fiona (Fi) who is one of Charlotte’s best friends from college. Don’t mess with her! But she seemed like someone I wouldn’t mind having as a friend.

As a side note – there is some graphic language during the part they were playing “I Never”….I personally didn’t like the wording but that is my personal taste. The sex scenes are a little graphic in case that offends anyone. There aren’t many of those scenes and they are all near the end of the book.

We give it 4 paws up.

Trailer

About the Author

Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose previous novels include Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click and Right Click. The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.” The first in the series was optioned for a major motion picture.

Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured in Cupid’s Pulse, GalTime.com, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit Central and numerous other book blogs and websites.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a rush.” Lisa is now happily married to a man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, paranormal, romance on August 2, 2017

Third in Ashlyn Chase’s light paranormal romance series featuring hot dragon shifters. No one would believe that lovely Lt. Kristine Scott of the NY Fire Department is an actual dragon, but there’s no denying the flames that ignite when she meets firefighting phoenix shifter Jayce Fierro.

Synopsis

One Boston Phoenix + One New York Dragon = Scorching Heat

You think it’s tough being a dragon? It’s a piece of cake compared to being a phoenix shifter. Dragon shifters just have to worry about accidentally setting their stuff (or a loved one) on fire. A phoenix can rise from the ashes, but then they have to start over…as if growing up once wasn’t tough enough..

Meet Lt. Jayce Fierro of the Boston Fire Department, and Kristine Scott of the FDNY. A long distance relationship could never work—especially not with the secrets they’re keeping. But when Kristine lands herself in a blaze of trouble, she’s in no position to turn down Jayce’s help. Even if it means letting down their guards…and giving in to their sizzling attraction.

Boston Dragons:

I Dream of Dragons (Book 1)

My Wild Irish Dragon (Book 2)

Never Dare a Dragon (Book 3)

AmazonB&NiBooksBAM

Excerpt

The rest of the dinner went well. In fact, Kristine was surprised by how well it was going. She hadn’t dated a guy like Jayce in a long time. Their connection seemed to be almost instantaneous. It was just too bad he was a firefighter—and lived three hours away as the Acela train flies. Actually, a quick plane ride would reduce the commute to only an hour and a half, but the hassle and time it took to go through security would make the trip even longer.

Walking down the wide sidewalks of Times Square, hand in hand, sure made her feel as if the trip might be worth the hassle. His hand was warm and rough. For once she wasn’t concerned that hers were the same way. No hand cream could stand up to a firefighters’ routine. Wet gloves, rough weather, unbearable heat… All of that detracted from the soft, supple skin she longed for.

They had decided over dinner to visit the top of the Empire State Building. Jayce had never been there before, and Kristine had only visited with friends—never a date. It was supposed to be romantic. She’d never understood why. Probably because her cynical ex-boyfriend thought it was hokey. As she glanced over at Jayce, he glanced back, and they smiled. One thing she wasn’t seeing in him was a city dweller’s pessimism. Its absence was a refreshing change.

Eventually, they arrived at their destination, and as luck—or the stars aligning at the right moment—would have it, they stepped into an elevator with no one right behind them. The doors whooshed closed while they were still alone.

She spun toward Jayce with a hand over her mouth. “I guess that wasn’t very nice of me. I probably should have waited.”

He stepped right into her space. “I’m glad you didn’t.”

As the elevator began to ascend, he leaned in and captured her mouth with his firm lips. She looped her arms around his neck, and he pulled her close. She immediately opened her mouth, and their tongues found each other and swirled together. Kristine wasn’t at all sure her light-headed feeling was due to the elevator traveling so fast. Unfortunately, she felt as if she were falling instead.

Don’t think about it. Whatever happens happens… She seemed to have found a new mantra. She heard the ding of the elevator doors opening, and they were greeted by chuckles and a wolf whistle.

“Yeah, yeah…” Jayce said, but he was grinning and holding Kristine’s hand as they made their way off the elevator.

When they spotted a space at the building’s edge that was fairly deserted, they walked over to it with no hesitation.

“You’re not afraid of heights, I guess…” Jayce said to her.

She laughed. “I’d be in deep trouble if I were.” Not only was she a firefighter in a company that specialized in high-rises, but she was a full-fledged, fire-breathing, wing-soaring dragon. She could hover at this height and enjoy the view.

Speaking of enjoying the view…

Jayce turned his back on the dazzling city lights and kissed her knuckles as he stared into her eyes. She felt as if her insides were melting. A deep shimmer in his eyes must have been reflecting the lights. Or not. His eyes seemed to glow for a moment, and then he quickly turned back toward the city.

She took her first good look at the city lights as well. Dear Lord. At last she realized why people thought this place was romantic. At night, so many lights against the velvet black sky were more beautiful than Christmas. Some even seemed to twinkle like stars. Below, white headlights and red taillights trailed through the landscape, but the sounds of the city were far away.

A chilly breeze ruffled her hair. Jayce enveloped her in a side hug. If she felt a chill, it was forgotten in favor of his warm, strong body alongside hers. Everywhere they touched, merging heat radiated through her. Wow. How she’d missed this! Or had she ever had this feeling?

Good Lord, Kristine… Get ahold of yourself!

“So, Jayce… What do you think of the view from up here?”

He turned her toward him and said, “I think the view right in front of me is as beautiful as it gets.” Leaning in, he delivered another toe-curling kiss, and she realized she was a goner.

About the Author

Ashlyn Chase describes herself as an Almond Joy bar. A little nutty, a little flaky, but basically sweet, wanting only to give her readers a scrumptious, satisfying, experience.

She holds a degree in behavioral sciences, worked as a psychiatric RN for several years and spent a few more years working for the Red Cross. She credits her sense of humor to her former careers since comedy helped preserve whatever was left of her sanity. She is a multi-published, award-winning author of hot, humorous paranormal and contemporary romantic comedies.

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