Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance, Spotlight on November 9, 2016

cvr-how-to-impress-a-marquessTitle: How to Impress a Marquess

Author: Susanna Ives

Series: Wicked Little Secrets, #3

ISBN: 9781402283635

Pubdate: November 1, 2016

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

Take one Marquess: responsible, worldly, deadly dull but concealing an artist’s soul.

Add one rebellious, brilliantly creative but lonely young lady who craves love, home and family.

Combine with ill-assorted guests at an ill-fated house party hosted by a dowager with a poison tongue and a penchant for scandal.

You’ll be shaken, you’ll be stirred, you’ll laugh and you’ll swoon—most of all you’ll be tossed into an intriguing Victorian love story that you’ll never want to leave.

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Excerpt

“George, why are you staring at me?”

He didn’t realize he had fallen down a rabbit hole of thought. A mental leather strap slapped his wrist, and he hastened to cover his slip. “I’m thinking about what kind of husband would suit you.”

“You mean what kind of husband would suit you for me? Does England have a bachelor diplomat in Siberia or Bangkok?”

“You may laugh, but now is your chance. What kind of man do you desire? What respectable man’s society would represent the pinnacle of your existence so that I may find a genteel version of him for you? Or you can leave me to my own devices. Tell me, how do you feel about musty cigars or reading religious tracts?” He casually chuckled to hide his curiosity. If she had ever fancied a man, she had never told him about it. He wondered what she found desirable.

“You’re a bachelor and a marquess. It’s more important for you to marry than me, so you can get busy creating a little marquess, and spare marquesses and daughters to barter for powerful clanlike alliances. Tell me what kind of wife you desire.”

“No more games, Lilith. It’s your future we are deciding.”

“It’s not a game. You tell me about you, and I’ll tell you about me. A fair trade.”

“Very well.” He stopped walking. Behind him, ducks skimmed along the water’s surface.

“I prefer…” He paused. On the tip of his tongue was Colette. But he wouldn’t admit he desired a fictional character. That bit of lunacy he kept to himself. “I prefer…a gentle lady possessing pleasing manners and a clear mind,” he said. “She must be charming but never vulgar. She must never embarrass me but assert herself in quiet ways.”

This was harder than he thought. He couldn’t explain that what he wanted was a woman to hold him safe to her body, soothe the restlessness inside him, say the words he couldn’t express, tell him that she loved him only and fully. Instead, he said, “She should be tasteful and understated in her appearance.”

The edge of Lilith’s mouth hiked up in a way that said Are you jesting? “I’m shocked that you are not already married. There are many eligible ladies, as well as sofas, chairs, and ornamental rugs that fit that description.”

“I answered your question,” he said hotly. “And you mocked me.”

She flinched as if he had stung her. When would he ever learn to stop playing her games? He was so busy mentally berating himself that he almost didn’t hear her speak. She was using that unsettling quiet voice again. “I prefer a man who is kind.”

“Merely kind? Not wildly romantic? Handsome in a severe Gothic manner? Brooding? Poetic—a modern Keats? A misunderstood artist?”

“You don’t know me at all.” The wind blew a strand of hair across her mouth. Again he felt the sensation that he was staring at one of those insane Impressionists’ paintings. All the beauty and light assaulted his senses.

“Kindness,” she continued, “loyalty, and a home.”

“Only kindness, loyalty, and a home?”

She thought for a few seconds more. He could see the machinations of her mysterious mind working behind her eyes. “Yes.”

“What about love?”

“I didn’t realize it was in the offering.”

“It could be. I could introduce you to a brooding poet of excellent breeding, competent accounting skills, and deep funds, and you could fall madly in love with him. And then you would have me to thank.”

She walked on. “I think your definition of love and mine are very different.”

“What is your definition?”

“You wouldn’t understand, and you would mock me if I tried to explain.”

He clasped her elbow, halting her progress. “I promise to be deadly serious.”

She clutched her book tighter. On the river, a male duck raised high in the water and beat his wings to challenge another duck. George studied her as she watched the ensuing water fight and heated pursuit across the river.

“I’ll just take kindness and loyalty in a husband,” she said, still looking out at the river. “He must pro- vide me a home, a true home, and he can’t leave me.”

“You should have told me this earlier. There are many more-than-suitable gentlemen who meet the bare requisites.”

“Are there?” she whispered, no hint of the usual derision in her voice. When she turned her head, her large eyes earnest, the tears were starting to collect in the corners. He felt her pain in his own heart again. He longed to hold her, comfort her. Good God, this woman lit up his emotions. One minute he was furious at her and the next filled with sadness.

About the Author

Susanna Ives started writing when she left her job as a multimedia training developer to stay home with her family. Now she keeps busy driving her children to various classes, writing books, and maintaining websites. She often follows her husband on business trips around Europe and blogs about the misadventures of touring with children. She lives in Atlanta.

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Print copy of Wicked Little Secrets (Book 1) by Susanna Ives

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Texas on November 4, 2016

left-at-the-altar-cover

Title: Left at the Altar

Series: A Match Made in Texas, #1

Author: Margaret Brownley

Pub Date: November 1, 2016

ISBN: 9781492608134

Synopsis

Welcome to Two-Time Texas:

Where tempers burn hot

Love runs deep

And a single marriage can unite a feuding town

…or tear it apart for good

In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler…but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood’s marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace. But when she’s left at the altar by her no-good fiancé, Meg’s dreams of dragging her quarrelsome neighbors into a ceasefire are dashed.

No wedding bells? No one-time town.

Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there’s something about Meg’s sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in…even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart.

Who knew being Left at the Altar could be such sweet, clean, madcap fun?

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Excerpt

Tommy grimaced. “Meg, I’m sorry, but I can’t do this. I can’t marry you.”

Meg stared at him, dumbfounded. This can’t be happening. “What are you saying?”

“I’m sayin’ I can’t be the husband you want. I can’t spend the rest of my life workin’ on watches in my father’s shop. All those hairsprings and gears and stems and— ”

“This is how you give me the news?” She gave him an angry shove. “Tommy Farrell, I’ve known you nearly all my life, and you’ve caused me plenty of grief along the way, but this takes the cake!”

“I’m sorry.” He slapped his hand to his forehead. “I’m goin’ about this all wrong. It’s not that I don’t want to marry you. I just can’t.”

“And you waited for our wedding day to tell me this?”

“I feel bad, I do.”

“You feel bad? How do you suppose our guests feel after being kept waiting all this time? And what about the town? Our fathers promised to end their feud— ”

“I know, I know.” He grimaced. “Right now, I’m only thinkin’ of you.”

“By humiliating me in front of the entire world?” She stared at him as if seeing him for the first time. For years, she’d made excuses for his lackadaisical ways and had even defended him to his own father. She’d forgiven him for forgetting her birthday— not once but twice! But this…this was by far the worst thing he’d ever done.

“I’d make you miserable,” he continued, his Texas twang even more pronounced than usual. “I’m not ready to settle down. I want to see the world. To travel to Europe and Asia and…and the Pacific Islands. I read somewhere that they’re real nice.”

“You’ve said some mighty dumb things in your life, but this has got to be the dumbest.”

“I knew you wouldn’t understand.”

“No, I don’t understand,” she cried. “I don’t understand how you could wait till today to throw me over for a bunch of islands!” She backed away from him, fists at her side. “I should have listened to Pa.”

“Meg, don’t look at me like that. It really is for the best. Maybe in a year, or two or three, I’ll be ready to marry and settle down. Maybe then we can— ”

“Don’t you dare say it, Tommy Farrell. Don’t you even think it! I’d sooner die a spinster than marry the likes of you.”

“You don’t mean that…”

“I mean every word. I don’t ever want to see you again. Not ever!”

left-at-the-altar-2

About the Author

MARGARET BROWNLEY penned her first novel at age eleven and has been writing ever since. She’s now a New York Times and CBA bestselling author and has written thirty-five novels and one nonfiction book. Margaret and her husband have three grown children and make their home in Southern California.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on November 3, 2016

picture-perfect-cover

Title: Picture Perfect Wedding

Series: Magnolia Brides, #3

Author: Lynnette Austin

Pub Date: November 1, 2016

ISBN: 9781492618034

Synopsis

Third in the heartfelt and charming Magnolia Brides series from Lynnette Austin

One mistake can change everything…forever

Beck Elliot and Tansy Calhoun were inseparable—until Tansy left Misty Bottoms, Georgia, promising to come back after she finished school. Beck stayed behind to save the family business, dreaming of the day when Tansy would return. Instead, his trust and his heart were broken when she inexplicably married another man and bore his child.

Five years later, Tansy comes home, a sadder and wiser woman. Despite his anger, Beck finds it hard to avoid her and her adorable little daughter—especially with all the busybodies of Misty Bottoms going out of their way to throw him and Tansy together, hoping a lingering spark will reignite their enduring flame…

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Excerpt

“So what are you thinkin’ so hard about that you can’t sleep?” Beck asked.

Tansy hesitated. It was late and her guard was down, but she found herself wanting to share with him. Like old times. She missed that.

“I’m afraid.”

“Of what?” His eyes darted around the room. “Of being here alone?”

She pinched the bridge of her nose. “I’m afraid I’ll never know who Tansy Calhoun Forbes is. I’ve never been on my own. Never had to stand on my own two feet before.”

“You’re doin’ a hell of a job of it right now.”

“Am I?”

“How can you even ask that?”

“Could I have made this work without my mom? Without Jenni Beth. Without you, Cricket, Cole, Sam, Kitty…”

“Sugar, you’re a strong woman. You’re capable of doin’ whatever you set your mind to.”

“But who am I?”

“Shoot, Tansy, does anybody really know who they are? Deep down at the core? I don’t know. I think we’re constantly changin’. Evolvin’. A lot like that onion you use in your breakfast quiche.” He nodded toward one on her counter. “Layer on top of layer. We change because of situations that pop up. Because of people who come into—or come back into—our lives.”

His eyes darkened. “I’ve missed you, Tanz. You were my lover, yes. The woman I loved and wanted to marry. But you were also my best friend. I miss my friend. How ’bout we start there? By being friends again.”

Her fingers crumbled the cookie on her plate as a bubble burst in her chest. “Oh, Beck, I can’t count the times over the last few years when I’ve thought, ‘Wait till I tell Beck.’”

He reached for her hand and she took his, felt the strength there. “Friends?”

“Friends,” she answered.

“You know, I never did get my dance at the wedding.” He drew her up and led her toward the door. “The stars are out tonight.”

As if in a trance, she followed him across the kitchen floor.

He knelt beside a pair of pink, rhinestone-covered flip-flops. Lifting her foot, he slid the sandal onto it, then repeated it with the other.

Tansy could barely breathe.

“Gracie—”

“Is asleep. The window’s open. You’ll hear her if she needs you.”

She nodded. Her fingers laced through his, they slipped outside into the soft night air. Fireflies twinkled.

“You know,” he said, “when I was little, the rule was that when the fireflies came out to play, I went inside. To bed. Despite that, they’re magical.”

The radio still played inside, the music drifting out to them.

Grass, damp with dew, tickled her toes.

And then Beck drew her in, and she forgot everything but his touch. His lips dropped tiny kisses along her neck, and her knees turned to mush. Those same lips moved to her ear, and she nearly moaned.

The kitchen light shone onto the yard and created shadows.

As they danced, she realized they could have been the only two people in the universe. At that moment, her world began and ended right there in Beck’s arms, his work-callused hands strong and steady.

One song ended and another began.

He spun her out, and she laughed. When he pulled her close again, she sighed.

“I’m not sure friends is gonna cut it for very long,” he whispered into her hair.

“Oh, Beck, if it were only me… I want you. So badly. But Gracie’s already lost her father. I can’t make another mistake.”

“Believe it or not, I understand, sugar.”

“Do you?”

“Yes. I’d be a liar if I said I won’t keep trying, though.”

He stepped away, and she shivered. The night air had cooled, or maybe she simply hadn’t noticed it before.

“Time we both found our beds, friend. Morning’s gonna come, ready or not, and we both have work.” He dropped a feather-light kiss on her cheek. “Go inside. I’ll wait till you’re in. Lock up.”

She couldn’t find her voice, so she simply nodded.

Once inside, she turned the lock and knew she’d dream of Beck tonight.

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About the Author

LYNNETTE AUSTIN gave up the classroom to write full time. An author of eight novels, she has been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Blairsville, GA.

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Giveaway

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Western on November 3, 2016

rachel

 

Rachel by Caroline Clemmons

Synopsis

A shameful past…
Rachel Ross’ secret haunts her. She joins other women leaving Virginia for Texas, object matrimony. Vowing never to trust again, she is rebuilding her life. She likes the dusty little town of Tarnation and is attracted to Zane Evans. She accepts a job as his bookkeeper. Her past has made her cautious and she vows never to let down her guard. The attraction is there, and she allows him to court her.
Zane Evans is a former Pinkerton agent who wants to forget all he saw in that profession and in the war and build a good life in Tarnation, Texas. He has carefully planned his future. He’d never believed in love at first sight until he meets Rachel. Now he’s determined to discover and remove the reason her beautiful brown eyes look haunted.
One event reveals her past in a spectacular way. Will Zane forgive her silence?

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Praise

“I have read all of the five Bride Brigade books and can’t pick a favorite. Each story is complete, detailed, and enjoyable. Rachel’s story did not disappoint. I love how Ms. Clemmons intertwines all the bride’s stories, yet each can be read alone. I look forward to the next book in the series.” Marianne Spitzer

“. ..I enjoyed this book so very much I hated to see it end.” Dorothy Henderson

”Intriguing story of a woman framed for someone else’s crime. Trust doesn’t come easy when even her own family turns against her.” Beverly G.

“Oh boy, did I ever enjoy this book. Good work!!” Marcia Montoya

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Excerpt

Mama glanced from Hannah to Rachel. “I’ve fixed you a place in my sewing room. Your clothes and things are already there.”
Not even allowed to return to her former room? Scooping up her valise, she turned and fled to the sewing room. “Fine. At least I’ll have privacy.”
Patrick followed and caught up with her before she closed the door. “Dahlia and I’ve been scouring our brains since I learned of our parents’ plan. I may have a solution.” He handed her a folded newspaper page with one advertisement circled. “What do you think?”
Rachel read the item:
“Young women of good character desiring to go west for the purpose of marriage may apply for an interview between ten and four o’clock in the afternoon from April 5th to 10th at the Grand Hotel, Richmond, care of Mrs. Lydia Harrison.”
“Good character? This Mrs. Lydia Harrison might not agree I qualify.” She reread the item as she mulled over the implications. “Regardless, I’ll go see Mrs. Harrison at ten tomorrow.” She hugged Patrick. “I knew I could count on you, dear brother.”
“You’ll have to thank Dahlia for that advertisement. It wasn’t in the parts of the paper I read.”
All her plans for the future had changed. Instead of welcome from her family, she was ostracized by all but her brother. In her head, she saw the wisdom of her father’s edict. In her heart, she was far too crushed for reason. She wouldn’t stay a second longer than necessary to find a solution.
Patrick leaned a shoulder against the door jamb. “I’ll take off work again to go with you and be certain this woman isn’t a con artist soliciting young women for objectionable purposes.”
Rachel was able to force a smile though her heart had frozen solid. “No, Patrick, thank you for coming for me and for being the same fine man I remember, but I should do this alone. The ad says ‘for the purpose of marriage’ and I’ll be sure of the details before I commit—if she even chooses me.”
“At least let me give you a few dollars to pay cab fare there and back and enough to buy lunch if you’re out then.” He opened his wallet and removed several bills, which he pressed into her hand.
She gazed at the amount. “Ten dollars? Patrick, this is too much.”
He backed away as he held his hands palm facing her. “You don’t know what expenses you’ll have. I’ll worry enough without thinking you have no resources.”
She dropped the cash into her purse. “Thank you. You’re the dearest brother who ever lived.”
His cheeky grin cheered her. “Honesty compels me to modestly agree with you.”

 

carolineAbout the Author

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

 

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in 4 paws, Christian, Giveaway, Review, romance on November 1, 2016

WHERE TWO HEARTS MEET

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND DREAMS SERIES, BOOK 2

by

Liz Johnson

 Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: October 18, 2016

Number of Pages: 384

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synopsis

In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen—and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful.

Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He’s also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he’s falling in love with the island’s red shores and Caden’s sweets.

When Caden discovers Adam isn’t who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he’s writing could do more than ruin the inn’s chances for survival—it might also break her heart.

Readers will discover hope for the hurting, joy for the broken, and romance for the lonely at the enchanting Red Door Inn.

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Review

“Grace isn’t about being good enough or strong enough. It’s just about acknowledging your need for it and accepting it.”

This line in the book stood out to me because it is very true. Where Two Hearts Meet is a solid book that encompasses all facets of life – friendship, faith, love, deception, jealousy and desire.

Caden is something of an introvert which makes it harder for her to stand up for herself. Adam is a well traveled journalist that has a very heavy heart. Between the two, they learn a lot about themselves and how they can better themselves, all while finding love. The story is enjoyable and I found myself rooting for Caden and Adam hoping they wouldn’t miss out on a fresh chance on life. It wasn’t smooth sailing for them, but it gave them a chance to really get to know one another and each other’s faults.

This line gave me a chuckle and I liked the alliteration – “But he (Adam) hadn’t picked up the old vice. He’d picked up a new one. Coffee and cinnamon rolls. And Caden.”

I also liked the descriptions of Prince Edward Island. I have never been to the island but it sounds gorgeous and I think I need to plan a trip there in the near future.

We give this 4 paws up.

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about the author

liz-johnsonLiz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she’s not plotting her next trip to the island, she works as a full-time marketing managerfor a Nashville-based publisher. She has been a freelance writer and editor for several publications, including CBA Retailers+Resources, Christian Fiction Online magazine, and Storytellers’ Journal. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she is the author of several books, including The Red Door Inn, a New York Times bestselling novella, The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn (an ACFW Carol Award finalist) and A Star in the Night, which was part of the New York Times and ECPA bestselling A Log Cabin Christmas Collection. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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 Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, publishes books that help bring the Christian faith to everyday life. Whether through fiction, Christian living, self-help, marriage, family, or youth books, each Revell publication reflects relevance, integrity, and excellence.

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GRAND PRIZE:

1 Copy of Where Two Hearts Meet

1 Copy of Anne of Green Gables

1 Prince Edward Island Towel

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1 Copy of Where Two Hearts Meet

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1 Copy of Where Two Hearts Meet

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November 1 – November 10, 2016

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11/1 Review StoreyBook Reviews
11/2 Author Interview Hall Ways Blog
11/3 Excerpt Country Girl Bookaholic
11/4 Review Kara The Redhead
11/5 Promo Books and Broomsticks
11/6 Author Interview Reading By Moonlight
11/7 Review Byers Editing Reviews & Blog
11/8 Guest Post A Novel Reality
11/9 Author Interview Margie’s Must Reads
11/10 Review The Page Unbound

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on November 1, 2016

cvr-untouchable-earlTitle: The Untouchable Earl

Author: Amy Sandas

Series: Fallen Ladies, #2

ISBN: 9781492618751

Pubdate: November 1, 2016

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

“Are you afraid?”

“Yes,” she replied in a soft voice. “But I love the way you frighten me.”

Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing by society’s rules. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who makes her breathless with terror and impossible yearning…

Though the reclusive Earl of Harte claimed Lily with the highest bid, he hides a painful secret—one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover’s touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he’s spent his life keeping the world at arms’ length. But there’s something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him, compels him…and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to seek to heal his troubled heart.

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Excerpt

As his hungry gaze soaked up every detail of the woman who had been haunting his thoughts, he noticed something odd in her manner.

Her lovely gray eyes were lowered, and with her hair shielding much of her face, she presented a perfect example of shy modesty. The posture struck Avenell as wrong. Despite Miss Chadwick’s innocence and quiet manner, she was not one to avert her gaze. He had observed her enough in the preceding weeks to know she had an unnerving tendency to view her surround­ings with direct, consuming attention.

The girls on either side of her were clearly meant to highlight Miss Chadwick’s virginal appearance by contrasting it against their more obvious sexual lures. But Avenell noted they served another purpose as well. Keeping their arms linked with the young woman, they were able to subtly keep her in place as she swayed on her feet.

An icy chill swept through his blood.

Miss Chadwick had been drugged. Laudanum per­haps. Enough to relax her muscles and dull her brain. The girl was not there of her own free will. She was a virgin sacrifice being offered to the debauchery of the men before her.

A sickening dread rushed through him with such force that he thought he might be physically ill. His hands froze into fists, and his head throbbed.

Avenell looked away from the gross display at the front of the room and set his snifter of brandy on the table beside him as he rose abruptly from his chair.

His cool gaze swept over the other men in the room who had already started to shout their bids for the privilege of claiming Miss Chadwick for their own. It was difficult to tell if anyone else had recog­nized her, but it was obvious that no one intended to step forward and stop the proceedings.

Avenell stood locked in place, knowing that if he made a scene by dashing forward to interrupt, he would only provide more cause for scandal and her ruination should she be recognized. His body tensed to granite as he considered the best way to intervene.

Madam Pendragon laughed at the enthusiasm of some while teasing others to go higher in their bids. Avenell scowled in her direction and noticed that she sent him a sly glance in return.

As if waiting for—no, imploring—him to join in on the bidding war.

He looked away from the madam, for the first time not trusting the woman’s direction. He sent his gaze out over the other patrons.

The gentlemen were practically salivating as they competed for the opportunity to purchase the hapless Miss Chadwick. On any other night, these men may have faced the same girl in their own drawing rooms and would have been compelled to treat her with the highest degree of respect. But here, she deserved noth­ing but their lust.

Another wave of disgust rolled through him.

He turned a hard glare toward Madam Pendragon as he heard the bid spike into an astronomical range. Anger clawed at him, along with an unexpected sense of betrayal. She should have known he would not be able to stand for this type of diversion, that he would be compelled to find a way to act and save the young girl from a ruinous fate.

Of course, she would be pleased by the income she would garner from the spectacle, but as he watched her, he noticed signs of tension in the supremely self-possessed woman. At that moment, the madam glanced his way again. Her brows lifted a minute frac­tion of an inch as she subtly tipped her head toward the prize.

Avenell clenched his jaw tight but finally looked back to Miss Chadwick. There was the expected twist in his gut, the stumbling in his chest, the thudding in his ears he had been experiencing the last couple of weeks whenever he looked upon this particular woman.

The laudanum appeared to be wearing off. She had managed to lift her chin, and she stared out at the room with confusion and wariness in her eyes. She tried ineffectually to pull her arms away from the girls on either side of her, but they held fast, making a play of rubbing their bodies against her to disguise their forceful detainment.

Their ploy was effective, and the other men in the room reacted to the show.

But Avenell was not fooled. He saw the fear in Miss Chadwick’s unfocused eyes and the bright spark of rebellion.

In the next moment, Miss Chadwick’s wavering gray gaze found him in the far reaches of the room. And when her eyes locked with his, she refused to let go. He could no more look away from her than he could unleash the moon from its orbit.

There was only one thing he could do.

Speaking in a loud, clear tone, he entered the fray with a firmly stated offer that nearly tripled the last bid.

His competition turned to glare at him for how suddenly he had brought an end to the entertainment. No one was willing to top such an exorbitant price.

Avenell ignored them all.

He was far too busy battling an intense internal war between disgust at what she had been subjected to and an alarming thread of triumph.

Because no matter how they had both ended up here, no matter how wrong this all was…the woman who had been tormenting him for weeks now belonged to him.

About the Author

Amy Sandas’ love of romance began one summer when she stumbled across one of her mother’s Barbara Cartland books. Her affinity for writing began with sappy pre-teen poems and led to a Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She lives with her husband and children in Wisconsin.

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Posted in 5 paws, Review, romance, women on October 16, 2016

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Synopsis

‘Tis the season for chaos.

Wedding bells will soon be ringing in the Lowcountry. All Sam Sweeney wants is to marry her man on Christmas Eve surrounded by family and friends. But emerging complications, some humorous and some not so humorous, threaten to converge and derail the best-laid plans during the busy stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Amidst the chaos—dealing with real estate, planning a wedding, running a seafood market, honoring traditions, and contending with teenagers—even the weather rears its head when the weatherman forecasts a white Christmas. Never has family support been more needed, but will it be enough to restore order and save the day?

Escape to the Lowcountry this Christmas where romance, intrigue, and holiday merrymaking await you.

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Review

When I first started reading this I didn’t realize it was a novella…and in a way was very sad that the story ended so soon! But it just left me wanting more and the final installment which will be coming up soon.

Sam has finally gotten over her fear of commitment and is ready to spend her life with Eli. I like how they are both recovering alcoholics and can help each other when temptation is too much. And there are times that it is very tempting.

Jamie brings home a friend for the holidays – a self absorbed girl that needs a HUGE wake up call, and I think she gets it but not the way she wants.

And I won’t tell you the twist at the end – which I did guess in the beginning, so this will make for some interesting reading in book 4 of this series.

You will probably want to read the first two books first since this continues the story of the sisters. You could read it as a stand alone, but then if you go back and read the others it might spoil some things.

We give this 5 paws up!

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About the Author

Ashley FarleyAshley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

HER SISTER’S SHOES—June 2015—is a women’s novel that proves the healing power of family. Merry Mary—October 2015—a holiday novella, a young woman longing for a child stumbles upon a Christmas miracle. BREAKING THE STORY released on March 17, 2016. A romantic political suspense filled with passion, peril, and a scandal that will rock American politics.

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Posted in excerpt, romance, Spotlight, women on October 15, 2016

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Synopsis

Twenty five year old Caroline O’Connor is doing just fine, thank you very much. Four years ago and two semesters shy of her college degree, a little thing called life upended her carefully laid plans to leave small town shenanigans behind, and she found herself right back in the place she vowed to escape: Cold River, Missouri.

Cushioned amongst the Ozark Mountains, Cold River thrives on its folklore, town gossip, and the occasional jar(s) of moonshine. And it’s here that Caroline has carved out a simple, if uneventful life, helping to care for her ailing mother with Alzheimer’s and running the family business, a bait shop on the outskirts of town. Uneventful that is, until Navy veteran Noah Cranwell returns to Cold River, intent on restoring the infamous Cranwell legacy by rebuilding the family’s run-down general store—across the road from the bait shop.

Noah Cranwell has a chip on his shoulder only his grandfather Jep can understand. It wasn’t easy overcoming a troubled childhood and tumultuous teen years, but a stint in the Navy help straighten him out. Now seeking solace from his nomadic career, Noah returns to his boyhood home, the one place he ever felt at peace. Focused on repairing the general store, and his heart, Noah finds himself turning to Caroline—and her mostly deaf, three legged dog Yara—for support. Which for Noah and Caroline, starts to blossom into something more, making Caroline realize there could be much more to life than being ‘just fine.’ Yet Cold River isn’t without its closeted skeletons. And as secrets are discovered, will Caroline ultimately be able to forgive past sins and fight for a better future?

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Excerpt

Caroline O’Conner loved to fish.  Her favorite tree sat on the bank of the Cold River, just perfect for leaning against with a fishing pole in her hand. She relished casting a line as the fog lifted sluggishly off of the water.

The best time to fish was during the early summer—when it was already hot, but too early for the summer rush of river rats. She would come in and open up The Wormhole, her family’s bait and tackle shop, and then sneak off for an hour or two to visit the river and her favorite tree. In fact, that tree was her favorite spot, not just on the river, but in all of Cold River, the river’s namesake and the town where she lived.

Cold River, Missouri, a town of about 8,000 people, was nestled in the heart of an area of the United States known as the Ozarks. At any given time you might hear residents of this southwestern part of Missouri refer to themselves as southerners or Midwesterners, but neither one was entirely true. The Ozarks, a place of rolling hills and flowing rivers, is a place where a person could disappear for days, months, years, or forever. The rugged terrain is rivaled only by the rugged people living there, a people happy to be tucked away from the rest of the world.

Everybody fished in Cold River.

Caroline’s father taught her to fish when she was six. He hadn’t wanted to. It had been an argument for days between her father and mother, something that she remembered even at that tender age. Caroline had known since she was old enough to ask about the “boy in the pictures” that she had a brother in heaven, at least, that’s what her mother told her, and her daddy didn’t fish anymore. But he wanted to, she could tell. He sometimes looked at the fishing poles in the hallway closet, shoved to the back behind the winter coats. He sometimes pulled a tackle box from off the top shelf and looked inside of it for whole minutes at a time and yelled at her when she asked if she could play with the toys inside.

That was when her mother started asking her father to, “please take Caroline fishing.”

The first time he took her it had been a disaster. He barked orders the entire time and they didn’t even catch a fish. But the next week was different. They caught fish and her father smiled. More fish brought more smiles, and over the years, it became the bond she and her father shared.

She was fishing with her father less and less since her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Most of his free time was spent taking care of her or taking extra shifts at the free clinic so he could have a break from her. His gear sat dejected in one of the hallway closets, and his waders had long acquired cracks in the rubber boots.

Caroline shook her head. It was too early for such thoughts. And she was starting to sweat. That meant it was time to pack it in and begin her trudge back up to the shop. As she walked, she noticed a car parked out in front of the old Cranwell Station across the road.

The “for sale” sign had been sitting out in front of Cranwell Station for months. Over the years, the Cranwell family had used the store for many different purposes. It had been a gas station in the beginning, a lively meeting spot for summer visitors to the Cold River during the 1920’s. It had also been a beauty salon, a five and dime store, a used car lot, and a pet grooming facility. Caroline’s parents had owned the little bait shop across the street from Cranwell Station since before she was born, and in the 25 years Caroline was born, the place had been all but empty. There just wasn’t enough traffic to the river anymore, especially since the new highway routed most tourists around the town of Cold River completely. When the eldest Cranwell brother died, the building sat unoccupied and unkempt, a source of hot debate for the remaining Cranwell family members, all four of them, none of whom wanted the responsibility of maintaining the property. They stayed to themselves down at Cranwell Corner and rarely came into town. Caroline couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen any member of that family.

Caroline watched as a man got out of the car and proceeded to walk up to the door of the station. It was a man she’d never seen before. He was wearing khakis and a crisp, white button up shirt that made his dark hair and tan skin stand out against the sunlight even more than they already did. He placed his palm against the glass and began to rub at the thick coating of dirt. After peering inside, he began to pull on the door handle.

Surely he’s not trying to break-in, Caroline thought. Who robs a place in the broad daylight wearing khakis? Besides, Cranwell Station looked like it was about to fall in at any moment. Maybe he was just lost and looking for direction. He sure looked like he was from a city, and people from the city began to panic when they cruised outside city limits and towards the river. These two buildings, Cranwell Station and her bait shop, were the last stop before leaving civilization.

She continued to watch him from a safe distance as he walked around the station, kicked at loose boards on the porch steps, and pulled at the door handle some more. Once, he went back to his car and pulled out a cell phone, but realizing there was no reception, shoved it into his pocket at commenced cursing at the air. It wasn’t until he picked up a rock and started towards one of the windows that Caroline made a move.

“Hey!” She hollered, charging towards him with her fishing pole. “What in the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Praise for Annie England Noblin

“Just Fine With Caroline is all heart. Annie England Noblin knows how to make characters come to life. I was completely charmed on my trip to Cold River.”—Stephanie Evanovich on Just Fine With Caroline

“…Emotionally satisfying [and] turns an oft-maligned corner of Missouri into a welcoming, heartfelt setting. Noblin is a fine author of the cozy warm story.—The Current on Just Fine With Caroline

“Fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe will enjoy Nolin’s lighthearted second novel. For many readers, spending time immersed in Caroline’s world might be just the ticket.”—Library Journal on Just Fine With Caroline

“Readers of Debbie Macomber will enjoy poet and nonfiction author Noblin’s first novel. It’s an enjoyable story full of laughter, tears, and just plain fun.”—Library Journal on Sit! Stay! Speak!

“Noblin’s fish-out-of-water story combines food, family, suspense, and romance into one delightful read. [… ] a comfort read that’s perfect for a summer night. A cozy read that’s full of dogs, romance, and small-town charm.”—Kirkus Reviews on Sit! Stay! Speak!

“Full of southern charm and colloquialisms, Noblin’s first novel explores the curious bond between man and beast. A warm, emotionally grounded story that will delight fans of Mary Kay Andrews and contemporary women’s fiction.”—Booklist on Sit! Stay! Speak!

“A must read for any animal lover.”—Fresh Fiction on Sit! Stay! Speak!

About the Author

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three rescued bulldogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in Creative Writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English for Arkansas State University. Her poetry has been featured in such publications as the Red Booth Review and the Moon City Review. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on October 14, 2016

safe-from-harm-coverTitle: Safe from Harm

Series: Protect & Serve, #2

Author: Kate SeRine

Pub Date: October 4, 2016

ISBN: 9781492639169

 

It’s All Harmless Flirting Until Someone Gets Shot…

Deputy Gabe Dawson has had his eye on prosecuting attorney Elle McCoy for years. But the smart, sassy redhead is immune to his legendary charm and good looks–until Gabe is shot on the courthouse steps protecting Elle from a vengeful domestic extremist.

Elle has been protecting her heart from the cocky playboy cop. But it’s hard not to notice a guy when he takes a bullet for you and seems determined to turn his life around. With terrorists still at large and Elle a target, Gabe and his law enforcement brothers kick into high gear to take down the threat. And as they work together, Elle realizes she’s losing her heart to a man who will risk it all to keep her safe from harm.

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Letter to the Reader

To my readers,

I’m so excited to share Gabe and Elle’s story! Sparks were flying between these two in Stop at Nothing, so I couldn’t wait to bring their relationship to readers. I love these characters—from their flirtatious banter to their deeply emotional moments and everything in between.

Sexy and movie-star handsome, Deputy Gabe Dawson is the golden boy of Fairfield County. With a generations-long family legacy of law enforcement and a single-minded determination to reach the top, Gabe’s career promises to eventually eclipse even that of his famous father. All this makes him one of the most sought after bachelors in town. But the one woman Gabe truly wants doesn’t want anything to do with him.

There’s something about prosecuting attorney Elle McCoy that Gabe just can’t get enough of. She’s beautiful, brilliant, and the sexual tension between them every time they’re in the same room can’t be denied. But her snarky rejection of his charm makes Gabe want her even more. Not used to being turned down like a hot stove, Gabe hopes Elle will eventually give him the chance to show her he’s more than his reputation.

Elle’s had a crush on Gabe Dawson since she was a gangly teenager but was convinced he’d never give a girl like her a second glance. So now that they’re adults and she’s witnessed the famous Dawson charm in action, she doesn’t trust his flirtations—especially considering Gabe’s reputation as a womanizer. But when he takes a bullet for her, his self-sacrifice causes her to take a closer look. Soon she discovers the man he truly is and realizes what was once a schoolgirl crush is now so much more.

I really loved exploring Gabe and Elle’s evolution from frenemies to lovers, and I hope readers enjoy their playful, sultry interactions as much as I enjoyed writing them. But in addition to the romantic story central to the novel, is the story of love and family—regardless of whether that family is related by blood or bound together by loyalty and shared experiences. Exploring these complicated dynamics was an incredible experience and resulted in some of my favorite scenes in the novel.

There’s so much that I loved about writing Safe From Harm, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it now with all of you. Happy reading!

— Kate

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Excerpt

Gabe started awake, throwing off the covers and bolting to his feet. Pain shot up and down his leg as soon as he made contact with the floor, making him groan through clenched teeth and follow it up with a juicy curse.

“Motherfu—

“I’ll just come back later.”

His gaze shot up to see Elle standing inside the doorway, gorgeous eyes wide, her peaches-and-cream skin flushed an alluring shade of pink that deepened as he gaped at her. When she dropped her gaze, turning first left, then right, as if forgetting where the door was, he suddenly realized his bare ass was hanging out of the back of his hospital gown giving her quite an eyeful.

“No, that’s okay,” he said in a rush. “Come on in.”

He straightened quickly, wincing with the sudden movement, belatedly realizing his wound apparently hadn’t affected other areas of his anatomy and he was sporting some serious morning wood, which was pitching one helluva tent beneath the thin cotton gown.

He cursed again and dropped down on the bed, throwing the blanket over his lower body in one quick motion and trying unsuccessfully to suppress another groan. He squeezed his eyes shut for a second until the wave of agony passed. When he opened them again, he was surprised to see Elle standing before him, her gaze searching his face.

“Are you okay?” she asked, her hand coming up to cup his jaw. The gentle warmth of her palm sent a chill through him, making him shudder. Her hand immediately dropped away at the response, mistakenly thinking her touch was unwanted when, in fact, he desperately he craved it. “I’ll get the nurse.”

When she reached for the call button hanging near the head of the bed, he gently grasped her wrist and drew her hand away. “Leave it. I’m fine.”

She swallowed and dropped her gaze briefly to their hands, looking like she wanted to bolt and rid herself of his touch. He almost released her, saddened that she found the contact so unwanted. But then he felt her pulse quicken beneath his fingertips.

So maybe it wasn’t revulsion she was feeling after all…

When her gaze drifted back up to his, he decided to test his new theory and let his thumb slowly smooth over her skin. “How are you?” he asked softly.

She gave him a tremulous smile and, God help him, he damned near dragged her into his arms and kissed her. But he managed to restrain himself as she said, “Shaken up a bit. But no lasting harm.”

He narrowed his eyes at that, not believing her for a second. “You sure about that, honey?”

“I’ll be okay,” she assured him, nodding a little, her lips pressed together as if she was trying to convince herself of the truth of her words. “It’s just…” She sighed. “I almost died yesterday.”

There it was. The truth they both needed to face. Elle was no fool. Hell, she was brilliant as far as he was concerned. She must’ve known as certainly as he did how close they’d both come to losing their lives the previous day. So there was no denying her words, no use trying to convince her she was mistaken.

“Yeah,” he said, still caressing her pulse point. “You sleep at all last night?”

She shook her head, her eyes beginning to glisten with unshed tears. “No. All I could see when I closed my eyes was—” Her words broke off when her voice hitched with emotion.

Ah hell.

He slipped his hand into the thick waves of hair at the base of her neck and pulled her toward him. Every inch of him—especially those hidden under the blanket—longed to kiss her, but at the last moment, he pressed his lips to her forehead in a lingering kiss.

He didn’t know what to say to make her feel better. It wasn’t like that time when Todd Jenkins had broken up with her a week before the homecoming dance and Gabe had hinted to Chris that maybe he should ask her. Or the time her biggest rival was made editor of the school yearbook and he’d broken into her locker before school to leave her flowers (anonymously, of course). Or the time he’d given Aaron Maguire a fat lip when that asshole had gotten a little grabby with Elle in spite of her saying no loud and clear. Or the time he’d driven two hours to the college she was attending to fix her car on the sly because her aunt Charlotte had mentioned that it wasn’t running and Elle refused to ask for the money to fix it.

He’d been secretly looking out for Elle for as long as he had known her, never letting on that he was the one, never asking for anything in return. Knowing she was safe and happy was enough. But he was at a loss on how to comfort her this time, when they were very literally face to face.

He’d never known how to deal with a woman when she was upset. He supposed he got that from his father, who wasn’t exactly the most nurturing guy. Normally, Gabe bailed when things got serious enough with a woman that she was actually sharing emotions. Okay, to be honest, he usually bailed way before that. But seeing Elle looking lost and afraid brought out a protective urge in him that he’d never really experienced with anyone else—not to this extent, anyway.

He could lie and say she’d be fine in a few days. But the truth was, it might be something that haunted her far longer. God knew he had plenty of nightmares—some of them walked and talked and dropped by for a visit in his hospital room in the middle of the night.

Elle’s hand came up to rest lightly on his chest, and he felt her breath quicken as tension began to build in the air between them. “Thank you for saving my life,” she whispered. She pulled back enough that their faces were just inches apart. And for a moment, he thought she might actually kiss him. The look in her eyes told him she was considering it, which shocked the hell out of him…

About the Author

Kate SeRine writes award-winning romantic suspense and paranormal romance. A past recipient of an Emily Award and the National Readers Choice Award, she has also been a finalist in the Fire and Ice Contest, Finally a Bride Contest, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She lives with her husband and two sons outside Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Posted in Book Release, Giveaway, romance on October 14, 2016

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The exciting conclusion of The Flyboy Trilogy! Lisa’s memory has returned along with her burning desire for wickedly hot Captain Lance Miller. Passion soars when the two unite. Lance is thrilled his goddess finally remembers him, but which Lisa is coming home with him? In some ways he is eager for the return of his original, sweet, loving Lisa, but he also adores his new and improved, sexy, opinionated, wild tiger. They are settling into their smooth sailing, happily reacquainted life when Lance’s flyboys are called to Afghanistan. This disruption is nothing compared to the turbulent arrival of Lance’s insanely hot, long lost half-brother, fighter pilot Derek Fuller. Derek’s arrival may cause Lisa’s path to be completely rerouted.

“I’m telling you this was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions. A great conclusion to The Flyboy Trilogy.”

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Step by firm step he approaches me, backing me against the wall. “Lisa, I can only be so strong.” He captures my wrists, holding them firmly above my head. Staring vehemently into my eyes, he continues, “I’m not a saint. I love my brother, but when it comes to you I lose my mind and my honor.” His eyes lower to my heaving chest. After dropping his head back to look at the ceiling, he returns his gaze and continues, “I’m begging you to stop whatever this teasing torment is, because if you keep this up we’re both going to wake with regrets.”

His forearms rest against the wall. Fanning his warm, labored breathing across my face, his hips press firmly against me. The heat of his rock solid erection between my thighs excites and lubricates every blessed inch of me. His head drops to my shoulder. Against my ear, he whispers, “You’re my kryptonite.”

“My hearts pounding,” I reply.

“Sweetheart, mine’s been pounding ever since I first laid eyes on you.”

I whisper, “You really want me…and think about me?”

With his forehead pressed to mine, he replies, “If you’re asking me how many times you’ve entered my thoughts I would have to say once, because, quite honestly, you never really left my mind from our very first encounter.”

“How much of what you say is bullshit and how much is sincere?”

He tosses his head back and laughs, before placing his lips directly in front of mine. “When it comes to you, Lisa, it’s all factual.”

“You’re maddening.”

His crystal blue eyes turn dark. “Well, that’s the pot calling the kettle black.”

His breath brushes warmly against my lips. “Are you going to kiss me?” I ask.

“I want to.”

“Then do it. I miss being kissed.”

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Turbulent Passion is FREE

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Burning Desire is just 0.99 PENNIES
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This is a series you won’t want to miss!

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G.L. Ross is a proud, sixth generation, native Texan. As a true Southern Belle, G.L. has always dreamt of the “happily ever after,” the prince riding in on the white horse sweeping her off her feet. She hasn’t found “Prince Charming” – yet (always an optimist) – but finds him every time she writes about her characters’ “happily ever after” endings.

Her motto in life is to “always find the good” in every person and situation. Whether through laughter, prayer, music, or a glass of wine or vodka, G.L. finds the good in life and shares her sense of humor, love, and adventure in her stories. Each book will inspire you to stand strong in faith and believe in second chances. Take flight with Lance & Lisa in Turbulent Passion, Burning Desire, and Crosswind (The Flyboy Trilogy). After twenty-seven years as a Flight Attendant, G.L. has incredible and often humorous insight into the aviation industry. She shares many of these stories in the Flyboy Trilogy. Plus, you must meet hunky rancher, Graham Gaskin, in A Rose Has Thorns…he is hot! Fall in love with Rachel and Brooks in The Strength of Love, an Inspirational Romance and recipient of the Reader’s Favorite 5 Star Seal.

Join G.L.’s Street Team: The Flygirls to receive the most up to date information regarding releases and prize opportunities.

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G.L. Ross has put together a FANTASTIC giveaway in honor of the release of Crosswind! One lucky winner will receive 5 ebooks and an Urban Decay Naked 2 Eye Shadow Palette.

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