Spotlight – Prose Before Bros

Tags

, , ,

Another fun librarian and biker romance is available now thanks to Smartypants!

*****

Prose Before Bros

Green Valley Library series

by Cathy Yardley

Blurb:

Nothing about being a librarian prepared Thuy Nguyen for such a wide variety of casseroles. Or life in a small town. Or becoming a farmer.

But what can she do when her catastrophe-prone best friend begs her for help? After all, Maddy has always been there for Thuy. It’s time to return the favor.

It’s simple really, all she has to do is: learn everything about farming ASAP, save her BBF’s family business from disaster, and avoid being caught staring at Maddy’s biker brother, and his muscles, and his smile, and his soulful, sexy eyes.

Oh yeah, and she should definitely not fall in love with him.

Easy, right? . . . Right.

‘Prose Before Bros’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#3 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Download copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JMpFd9

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Prosebefore

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2m2K8S8

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2m3pzFj

*****

Excerpt:

“Tell me: what kind of books do the men you sleep with read?”

She blinked. Not what she expected him to say. She felt herself smile, slowly. “It’s not like I have a required reading list,” she said, then paused. “Although now that you mention it, that’s not a bad idea.”

He chuckled. “Probably classics, or ‘literature’, or whatever smart people read,” he said, and there was a note of self-deprecation that somehow broke Thuy’s heart. She quickly shook her head.

“I don’t read a lot of lit fic — nothing too snobby,” she said. “I mean, I don’t just read literature or classics, although I appreciate them. I read lots of genre fiction, too. Romance, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, thrillers. I think it’s important to read outside of your comfort zone: different authors, different experiences. I have comfort reads, too, but I… well, if you hadn’t guessed, I read all the time,” she finally said, as she realized she was rambling.

He was staring at her like she was something brand new, something he’d never experienced before. She felt embarrassed, and quickly finished her drink.

“You know,” he said, his voice tinged with amused surprise, “I don’t think I’m as passionate about anything as you are about books.”

She let out a half-laugh. “They are my favorite thing ever. They gave me a place to go when my life was shitty, and they have continually given me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I read every single day. They’re my lifeline.”

“Now I envy you,” he said, and she got the feeling he wasn’t just bullshitting her — he sounded like he meant it. “What do you think a guy like me should read?”

She felt warmth, and it had nothing to do with the amaretto she’d consumed. This was the sort of challenge she loved. She scooted a little closer, so they could talk over the music without yelling. “What kind of movies do you like? What kind of stories?”

By the end of their talk, nearly two hours had gone by. She found out he liked adventure stories, and that he liked stories with justice and questionable heroes and things that had puzzles. She could think of several books, across several genres, and started to list them all.

“Whoa, whoa,” he said, holding up a hand. “I’m not going to be able to remember all of them. Which one of those is your favorite?”

She paused, thinking about it. “For a true book junkie,” she said slowly, “that’s like asking ‘which one is your favorite child?’ or ‘what appendage would you like to keep?’”

He laughed, and she smiled back at him.

“But, based on what you’ve told me,” she said, “I’d say The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss.”

“Okay.” He nodded. “I’ll read it.”

She must’ve looked skeptical, because he chuckled.

“I mean it. I’ll give it a try.”

“It’s like seven hundred pages long,” she warned him.

His eyes widened, then he shrugged. “Okay, it may take a little while. But hell, I’m game.”

“Why?”

He was silent for a long moment, staring into her eyes. She squirmed as the heat from his gaze seemed to seep into her very bones.

“Do you really not know?” he asked, so matter-of-factly that she felt like an idiot.

He’s volunteering to read a book for you.

She felt heat suffuse her cheeks. That might be the single sexiest thing a guy had ever offered to do for her.

*****

Author Info:

Cathy Yardley is an award-winning author of romance, chick lit, and urban fantasy, who has sold over 1.2 million copies worldwide. She writes fun, geeky, and diverse characters who believe that underdogs can make good and sometimes being a little wrong is just right. She spends her time writing in the wilds of East Seattle, riding herd on her two dogs, one son, and one husband.

Connect with Cathy Yardley

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2m3BItN

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2m3qaa1

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lGZk75

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2lEE8io

Website: http://cathyyardley.com/

Connect with Smartypants Romance

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kvDnb4

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2lzyduO

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lGdIMQ

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kwKsYK

Website: https://smartypantsromance.com/

*****

Spotlight – Three Dog Night

Tags

, ,

A sexy Greek chef and three adorable puppies might be the missing ingredient to melt her heart – check out Roxanne St. Claire’s newest today!

*****

Three Dog Night

The Dogmothers #2

by Roxanne St. Claire

Release Date: November 8, 2019

Blurb:

Alex Santorini puts his family first and foremost, and that’s going to keep him behind the grill at the family restaurant for the rest of his life, especially if his Greek grandmother has anything to say about it. But when a local winery needs a chef to step in to cook for a celebrity wedding, Alex jumps at the opportunity to showcase his culinary skills…and a chance to get closer to the winery owner who has captivated – and refused – his attention.

Grace Donovan is in a bind and knows that the answer to all her problems is one sexy Greek chef who has everything she needs…and everything that scares the hell out of her. Raised in a series of ever-changing foster homes, Grace has spent her life using science and logic to surround herself with protective walls. With all his passion and intensity, Alex could burn those walls down and, like everyone else in her life, leave her broken and alone.

As Alex and Grace join forces to land the wedding of the year, they also launch a search for the mother of a three puppies abandoned at the winery…only to discover a shocking connection to  Grace’s own mother and her shadowy past.  When the truth comes out, their romance faces its greatest test. Will Grace choose the family she’s wanted her whole life…or the love she may never find again?

Goodreads: https://smarturl.it/TDN-Goodreads

Amazon: https://smarturl.it/TDN-Amazon

Apple: https://smarturl.it/TDN-Apple

Nook: https://smarturl.it/TDN-Nook

Kobo: https://smarturl.it/TDN-Kobo

Google Play: https://smarturl.it/TDN-Google

*****

Author Info:

Published since 2003, Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty romance and suspense novels.  She has written several popular series, including The Dogfather, Barefoot Bay, the Guardian Angelinos, and the Bullet Catchers.

In addition to being an ten-time nominee and one-time winner of the prestigious RITA™ Award for the best in romance writing, Roxanne has won the National Reader’s Choice Award for best romantic suspense four times, as well as the Maggie, the Daphne du Maurier Award, the HOLT Medallion, Booksellers Best, Book Buyers Best, the Award of Excellence, and many others.

A mother of two but recent empty-nester, Roxanne lives in Florida with her husband.  She loves dogs, books, chocolate, and wine, especially all at the same time.

Website: http://www.roxannestclaire.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roxannestclaire

Twitter: https://twitter.com/roxannestclaire

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roxannestclaire1/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/roxanne-st-claire

*****

Spotlight – Shadows At Dawn

Tags

, ,

I just love it when Kat Martin stops by to share her latest book with us!

*****

Story Ideas

I’ve always loved a good plot.  People ask me how I come up with ideas for my novels, but the truth is, I really don’t know.

Sometimes the kernel of an idea grows out of a newspaper article or something I see on Facebook or just some old movie.  Most of the time, it’s so long ago I don’t actually remember, but my mind does.

The novella, SHADOWS AT DAWN, blossomed the way most of my stories do, basically out of nowhere.  Jaxon Ryker first appeared in THE CONSPIRACY, a former Navy SEAL, now a detective working for Chase Garrett, the wealthy owner of Maximum Security, an extremely successful private security firm in Dallas.

I liked Jax right away.  He was definitely hero material, but at the same time, Jax was different, kind of soft-spoken, not arrogant, just a really nice guy.  Unless you pissed him off.

Turns out Jax had a protective streak a mile wide and the sweet little receptionist at The Max was his weakness.

When Jax happens upon three men attacking her in the parking lot after work, his hero instincts kick in–big time.

Jax is convinced the attack isn’t random and that even after the fight that saved Mindy and drove the men away, she might not be safe.  And no way is Jax letting anything happen to her.

I liked the two of them together from the start.  These days, readers want kick-ass women, but there are other ways a woman can be strong.  What Jax sees is a sweet girl he believes would never be able to handle a tough guy like him.  But Mindy proves him wrong.

As the danger unfolds, Mindy and Jax are forced to work together to find the men who want her dead and figure out why.

I hope you’ll give this fun read a try and that you like Jax and Mindy as much as I did.  If you do, you can also find them in THE DECEPTION, book #2 of my Maximum Security Series after THE CONSPIRACY.

Till next time, happy reading and all best, Kat

*****

Shadows at Dawn

A Maximum Security Novella

by Kat Martin

Blurb:

Don’t miss this scorching novella, part of what Publishers Weekly is calling Kat Martin’s “tantalizing” new Maximum Security series!

Private detective Jaxon Ryker swore to himself he would keep his hands off Mindy Stewart. No matter how much Jax might secretly wish otherwise, his colleague at The Max is strictly off-limits. But when Mindy is the victim of an attempted kidnapping, everything changes. With both of them thrust into danger, Jax swears to protect her. As they work together in search of answers, it becomes clear Mindy’s life is on the line, so a trap is set—with Mindy as bait. Jax and Mindy have to put aside their overwhelming attraction, but if they live through this, all bets are off…

“Martin keeps the twists and turns coming in the sensuous and spirited Maximum Security romantic thrillers.” —Publishers Weekly

AMAZON / Kindle https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-at-Dawn-Maximum-Security-ebook/dp/B07Q43F8KZ

Barnes & Noble / Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadows-at-dawn-kat-martin/1131045486?ean=9781488058714

KOBO https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/shadows-at-dawn-2

GOOGLE https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kat_Martin_Shadows_at_Dawn?id=Y1mPDwAAQBAJ

ITUNES https://books.apple.com/us/book/shadows-at-dawn/id1457964026

*****

Excerpt:

Finally satisfied with her progress for the day, Mindy shoved her round tortoiseshell glasses up on her nose, slung the strap of her purse over her shoulder, and headed for the door to the parking lot behind the office.  She managed not to glance at Jax, but it wasn’t easy.

The early April weather was humid, warm but not hot, the last of a pinky gold sky fading to darkness.  She spotted her little red Volkswagen Beetle, one of the few vehicles left in the lot, and started in that direction.

If she hadn’t been working for a security firm, listening to crime stories on a daily basis, she might not have noticed the white Chevy van whose motor sparked to life and began idling in the shadows not far from her car.

When her steps unconsciously slowed, she told herself she was being ridiculous, a paranoid response to the guys’ sometimes gruesome, often frightening tales.

Pausing to dig her car keys out of her purse, she took a deep breath and tried to calm her racing heart.  When the effort failed, she forced her feet to move, closing the distance between her and her vehicle.  She had almost reached her destination when the van doors slid open and three men dressed head-to-foot in black wearing black ski masks jumped out and started running toward her.

Terror struck.   Mindy let out a high-pitched scream, dropped her purse, whirled, and started running.

 

Jax’s long day wasn’t over yet.  Before he picked up a pizza and headed home for a couple of beers, he had a meeting with a client on the other side of Dallas, a cold case he had been working where the mother of a murder victim had discovered new evidence she believed would help find her daughter’s killer.  The police weren’t convinced, but Mrs. Donahue had hired Jax to prove it.  Or at least find out the truth.

He checked his heavy black wristwatch.  If he wanted to make his appointment on time, he needed to get on the road.  Grabbing his laptop off the desk, he headed for his dark blue Dodge Ram pickup, parked in the lot behind the office, his mind on the case he figured would earn him a nice fat fee–and maybe help bring a killer to justice.

He had just stepped out the backdoor when a blood-curling scream cut through the sticky night air.  A petite young woman with long dark hair and glasses struggled with three masked men.

Adrenaline shot into his blood.  Mindy!  Even as he bolted into a run, Jax registered their appearance: one tall and lean, one average height and weight, one big and beefy, thick-shouldered and muscular.  He was flat out running by the time Mindy spotted him and started screaming his name.

“Jax, help me!  Jax!”  Kicking and biting, she fought like a wild thing, but she was no match for the men.  As they hauled her toward the open van doors, Jax grabbed the tall man and pulled him off her, pounded a fist into his face and slammed another into his stomach, doubling him over.  A hard right sent the guy careening backward, hitting the ground on his back and sliding across the asphalt.

The second man, Mr. Average, stepped in and swung a punch Jax ducked.  He shot out a kick, knocking the assailant into the side of the van, then heard the sound of a switchblade snapping open behind him.

“Jax, watch out!”

Whirling toward the threat, he dodged the flashing blade and shoved Mindy toward safety, then went back in for the kill.  Rage burned through his usual calm.  She worked with him, as far as he was concerned, was under his protection.  More than that, she was kind and sweet and he cared about her far more than he should.  Jax wanted to end the bastards who were trying to hurt her.

“Run!” he shouted.  “Go back to the office and lock the door!  Call 9-1-1!”  The knife flashed.  Jax dodged the sweep of gleaming silver wielded by a big, thick-fingered, extremely capable hand, jumped back from out of the way of another slashing attack as he and the big man crouched and circled each other.  From the corner of his eye, he saw the tall, thin man back on his feet and rushing toward him.

Jax looked up to see Mindy swinging her purse like a ball and chain, smashing the bag into the side of the tall man’s head, sending him staggering, grunting as he landed on his hands and knees.

“Bitch! he screamed, shaking his head to clear it, providing the distraction Jax needed.  He kicked the knife out of the beefy man’s hand and threw a punch that sent him reeling.  Mr. Average had already climbed into the van and shoved the vehicle into gear.

“Come on!” the man shouted through the open passenger window.  “Let’s go!”

The tall man turned and ran, leaping through the open van doors, and the big, muscular man shot in behind him.  Tires burned and smoke rolled up from the wheels as the vehicle screeched away.

*****

Author Info:

Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin.  More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries.  Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film.  Kat’s next hardcover, THE DECEPTION, a Romantic Thriller, will be released on September 10th.

Website: https://www.katmartin.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katmartinauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43705315-the-deception?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/KatMartinAuthor

*****

Giveaway:

Enter Kat’s Monthly Contest to win awesome prizes

https://www.katmartin.com/monthly-contest/

 

Spotlight – Angel in a Devil’s Arms

Tags

, ,

From USA Today bestselling author Julie Anne Long comes the second book in an exciting new historical romance series, the first since her beloved Pennyroyal Green series.

*****

Angel in a Devil’s Arms

A Palace of Rogues Novel

by Julie Anne Long

Genre Adult Historical Romance

Publisher Avon Books

Publication Date October 29, 2019

Blurb:

He has devil’s blood in his veins. At least, that’s always been the legend. How else could the Duke of Brexford’s notorious bastard son return from the dead? The brutal decade since Lucien Durand, Lord Bolt, allegedly drowned in the Thames forged him into a man who always gets what—and who—he wants. And what he wants is vengeance for his stolen birthright . . . and one wild night in Angelique Breedlove’s bed.

Angelique recognizes heartbreak when the enigmatic Lord Bolt walks into The Grand Palace on the Thames, and not even his devastating charm can tempt her to risk her own ever again. One scorching kiss drives home the danger.

But in the space between them springs a trust that feels anything but safe. And the passion—explosive, consuming—drives Lucien to his knees. Now his whole life depends on proving his love to a woman who doesn’t believe in it . . . because his true birthright, he now knows, is guardian of Angelique Breedlove’s heart.

Amazon  https://amzn.to/2VpBmLF

Avon Romance  http://bit.ly/2nuujVh

Barnes & Noble  http://bit.ly/2Mp3GK4

Kobo  http://bit.ly/31VXZcZ 

iBooks  https://apple.co/31WwXSK

*****

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

Mrs. Angelique Breedlove stared at the little token—a sort of half unicorn, half lion—nestled in the man’s palm. The firelight nicked a glint off the signet ring gleaming around one of his long fingers.

The kind of fingers poets and musicians are said to possess.

And excellent lovers.

Also, probably stranglers and pickpockets.

For God’s sake. Fingers were just fingers. It was just that staring at the token was easier than looking into the man’s face. She still had vertigo from the last time she’d done it—thirty seconds ago.

“I don’t know what he is, Mrs. Breedlove, but I don’t think I shall ever forget seeing him” was how their maid Dot had described the man when she’d admitted him to The Grand Palace on the Thames all of minutes ago.

Normally Angelique and Delilah would meet with potential new guests in the reception room, but in the parlor across the foyer the party celebrating three marriages was still underway, and everyone was just drunk enough to think that a round of pianoforte and singing was a good idea. She turned her head and was treated to a view of the vast dark O of Mr. Delacorte’s wide-open mouth, through which a surprisingly decent, albeit loud, baritone poured. Everything Mr. Delacorte did lacked nuance.

She’d warrant the man in front of her was all nuance.

Suddenly the black-and-white marble foyer floor between her and the party and the parlor seemed like an ocean.

She cleared her throat. “I’ll allow this token bears a close resemblance to half of the token Mrs. Hardy and I have in our possession here at The Grand Palace on the Thames, sir. Of course, I suppose it’s always possible you’ve murdered our mystery guest and stolen his half of the token, and then came straightaway to The Grand Palace on the Thames to take up our best room.”

Well. That emerged a little more waspishly than she’d intended. Apparently her senses were overwhelmed and were mounting a defense.

“Do I look as though I’m capable of such a thing?”

He sounded as though he genuinely wanted to know.

Angelique raised her eyes and found his expression oddly grave. His eyes were a crystalline green, like moss agate, or mist over a moor. It was as peculiarly difficult to hold his gaze as it was to hold a lit coal. It was far too . . . alive . . . and complicated. He aimed this gaze out over cheekbones that called to mind a pair of battle shields arrayed side by side. His mouth was a long, sensual curve. Not a classically beautiful face. It was something better, or perhaps worse: it was fascinating.

She flicked her thoughts away from that notion the way she would flick her skirts away from an open flame.

“Rather,” she said shortly. “But then, I suspect we all are, given the right circumstances,” she added. “Humans are capable of so many things.”

“You begin to interest me, Mrs. . . .”

She tipped her head pityingly. “Begin?”

Was she flirting? Surely not. She would no sooner do that than blithely step out in front of a runaway barouche. In her life, the consequences would have been identical, at least metaphorically.

But all at once she could feel the difference in the quality of his attention. As if someone had lit a candle in a pitch-black room.

When he began to smile she redirected her gaze to a safer place, which turned out to be the flowers in the vase on the mantel, which were drooping as if they’d all been dosed with laudanum. She enjoyed a bracing dose of exasperation for Dot, whose job it was to make sure they were fresh.

Where the devil was Dot?

Ah, she could hear her now, as a rattle of teapot and cups on a tray approaching. It was a perilous journey for Dot every single time. Dot and gravity had an uneasy alliance.

At last she appeared in the doorway.

Thus began the slow, delicate journey to settling it on the table between the settees.

The man watched this with apparent fascination.

“I don’t believe you mentioned your name, Mr. . . .”

“It’s Lord, I’m afraid.”

“Oh, of course it is. Who but a lord would find it amusing to communicate through tokens.”

“Necessary,” he corrected evenly, sounding as insufferable as that supercilious little man who’d appeared one night weeks ago with half of a token and paid them three guineas to hold a room for a mysterious stranger. “Necessary to communicate through tokens. My name is Lucien Durand. Viscount Bolt.”

The tea tray crashed noisily into place.

The perfidious Dot’s shoes were already clicking across the foyer at a run.

Leaving Angelique alone with a madman.

“I agree that humans are capable of nearly anything, given the right set of circumstances,” he said conversationally, as though he hadn’t just claimed to be someone the entire ton knew had been dead for a decade, and who, before that, had taxed the broadsheets’ ability to come up with hysterical adjectives. “Although murder certainly seems a good deal of effort to go through for an opportunity to stay here at the . . .”

A faint puzzled frown settled between his eyes as he took in the pretty but well-worn settees facing each other before the fire, arrayed atop the thick but faded rug (frays artfully hidden beneath furniture legs); all of those in shades of rose, the hearth facade fashionable decades ago, the table with its nick out of one leg, also skillfully disguised.

Since they’d combined talents a few months prior, Angelique and Delilah had seen any number of people glance around just that way: bemused, but not necessarily censorious. As if wondering at the source of the room’s charm. One could not place a finger on its source any more than one could bottle sunshine or air. Its charm was that it was well-loved and it knew it.

Madman or not, it seemed her pride was at least as powerful as her sense of self-preservation. She would not sit idly while someone criticized their beloved room.

She cleared her throat. “Lord . . .”

On the off chance she’d heard him wrong the first time.

“Bolt,” he confirmed, pleasantly.

Hell’s teeth. She drew a sustaining breath.

At best he was a charlatan.

A gorgeous, gorgeous charlatan.

“The comfort and security of our guests is paramount at The Grand Palace on the Thames, so Mrs. Hardy and I—we are the proprietresses—typically like to have a conversation with a potential guest to ascertain whether someone is mad or otherwise unsuitable before we invite them to stay.”

He studied her.

“Invite them, do you?” His tone was skeptical. But his voice was suddenly startlingly soft.

Instantly, alarmingly, it was easy to imagine that voice in her ear, from the next pillow, whispering the things he’d like to do to her.

“Yes.” The word emerged absurdly huskily. It sounded rather like she was giving permission to something. “Yes,” she repeated firmly. “Ultimately we give careful consideration to who we invite to stay, as we’d like all of our guests to feel comfortable and safe. And our business is thriving, much to our gratitude. We’re even contemplating a little expansion. And in case you’ve any doubts, the king himself sat just there not long ago.”

His eyes followed her gesturing hand to the pink settee.

He examined it a moment.

He turned back to her.

“Now who’s mad?” he said gently.

 

“Excuse me, Lady Der—Mrs. Hardy.”

Delilah—the former Lady Derring and new Mrs. Hardy—gave a start when Dot stage-whispered hotly next to her ear. She was panting as though she’d come at a run.

“What is it, Dot?”

“A man has arrived to inquire about a room and Mrs. Breedlove is speaking with him, but . . .”

She sank her teeth worriedly into her bottom lip and said nothing more.

Delilah’s eyebrows arched aggressively, prompting Dot to continue.

“Well, I think perhaps you ought to join her.”

Delilah exchanged a swift glance with her husband. He was planning to leave for Dover with Sergeant Massey for a short spot of business in an hour or so, and she wanted to soak up his presence.

But Dot was not in the habit of making recommendations. Cheerfully following orders, and occasionally getting them right, was her forte.

She had proven to be rather a savant at describing guests, however.

“Is he behaving in an . . . ungentlemanly manner, Dot?”

“Well, no. He is one of the most gentlemanly gentlemen I’ve seen, but not in the way you’d expect. His kit is very fine and his boots, well, they’re Hoby, and the way he stands is very . . . and you know how they are, Lady Derring—I mean Mrs. Hardy. Gentlemen, that is.”

“I do indeed know how they are.”

“He has only said a few words. His voice is very fine and low. He is merely standing there, mostly.”

“So the trouble is . . .” Delilah coaxed. She could feel the fine strands of her patience groaning like the buttons on Mr.Delacorte’s vest.

“Well, there are two troubles. Mrs. Breedlove’s cheeks have gone pink.”

Well.

This was fascinating.

“Where are they pink?” Delilah asked swiftly.

“Here and here.” Dot pointed to places high on her cheekbones.

Angelique typically sailed through her days like a swan on a sea of jaded wit and cool aplomb, all born of worldly experience. Very little occurred to change the color of her face, unless it was the heat of the kitchen on baking day.

“I see. What was the second thing, Dot?”

“Oh, you’ll think me silly . . .”

“I would never dream of thinking such a thing,” Delilah lied.

“I believe I saw the letter ‘B’ on his ring!” she said excitedly. “Oh, Lady Der—that is, Mrs. Hardy—do you suppose he could be . . .” she lowered her voice to another stage whisper, pressed her knuckles to her lip “. . . the Lord Bolt? It’s just he looks so . . . so . . .”

She clasped her hands together and gazed at her mutely, blinking her huge pale blue eyes.

Apparently not even the broadsheets—which Dot read with religious fervor—could provide her with a sufficiently hysterical word.

Delilah silently counted to three to fortify her patience. Ten would have been better but time seemed of the essence.

“That poor misguided young man drowned in the Thames a decade ago. A life wasted. Unless you’re a newspaper that peddles gossip, in which case they profit from him still.”

“But the broadsheets said someone who looked just like him walked into Mantons last week and shot the heart out of every target and walked out again without saying a word. Scared everyone silly, they said!”

“But, Dot—”

“And that someone who looked just like him walked into his favorite glove maker in the Galleria and paid for a pair that Lord Bolt had ordered specially just before he died, black with brown wrists, and walked out again! Right dear they were, too.”

“Dot—”

“And that Lady Wanaker claimed her loins had started up a burning out of nowhere like they always did when Bolt was—”

“Dot, please!”

“. . . and that a mysterious wager appeared in the betting books at White’s, signed and dated with the word ‘Bolt,’ and it said ‘I wager every penny I possess I will have revenge.’ I ask you! It fair made me shiver, it did! And no one saw who did it.” She pressed her knuckles against her teeth.

“DOT.”

Dot raised her eyebrows as if she’d made her point.

Delilah sighed. “Oh, Dot. Didn’t we discuss the wisdom of believing all the gossip you read? I admire your enthusiasm for reading, but might I suggest something more calming? Mr. Miles Redmond’s book about the South Seas usually puts me right to sleep. It might be just the thing.”

Dot looked crestfallen. “Yes, Mrs. Hardy. Of course you’re right. It’s just he told Mrs. Breedlove that his name was Lord Bolt, you see. So I just assumed.”

Delilah went still.

She darted another glance at her husband. Who arched a brow.

“We won’t be longer than a few minutes,” she told him.

And if they were, he would be there in moments, because Captain Hardy’s unique gift was knowing when she needed him.

 

Lucien was accustomed to the stares of beautiful women. Countless times he’d watched conclusions made and discarded scud across their faces like clouds on a breezy spring day. They noted the flawlessly sleek black coat, clearly sewn by the lads at Weston. The gold watch fob. The signet ring. The English accent so elegant and precise every consonant seemed to have been turned on a lathe. The exquisite manners, the charm precisely calibrated to weaken feminine knees.

But then there were the contradictions: the childhood French that haunted the contours of his words and syntax. The long, lean body clearly not raised on great platters of English roast beef. And no proper Englishman went around with eyes like his: Vert, comme un chat, one woman, tangled in his sheets, had purred on a memorable occasion. “Like a devil,” another had hissed on a very different memorable occasion. There was indeed something just shy of feral about him, something that implied that one could never predict what he’d get up to, and the fact that this unpredictable man was dressed up in aristocratic finery made them deliciously uneasy.

He had once cared that he did not fit anywhere.

Until he’d learned that he could use this to his advantage.

He was not in the business of making anyone feel more comfortable about anything.

So he let the beautiful ladies of The Grand Palace on the Thames stare, and he said nothing.

On the little table between them, the two pieces of the token lay locked together like lovers, reunited at last. Mrs. Hardy had fetched the other half from upstairs.

Mrs. Hardy’s dark eyes were soft and curious and she wore a gentle smile. Mrs. Breedlove seemed to actually be pressing herself back against the settee. Her chin was up a little, and her hands were folded perhaps more tightly than they ought to be, though her expression was decidedly cool. As though nothing ever surprised her. Their dresses, one red, one golden, overlapped in a shining spill of silk on the seat between them.

Mrs. Hardy’s eyes went to his new gloves, which he’d removed and laid aside on the settee next to him. Black leather, with brown wrists.

They fixed there for a time.

He spoke first.

“I should have thought you’d surround the settee with velvet rope and erect a plaque if the king sat here.”

“Ah. Well, we’ve only the two pink settees at the moment, you see,” Mrs. Hardy said.

She poured the tea from a pot painted all over with periwinkles.

“Ah,” he said, taking great pains to sound fascinated.

She eyed him sardonically as she handed his tea to him. They both knew this exchange was inane.

He took it with a gracious nod. He drank it without sugar, without cream. It was a habit of childhood he could not abandon and it niggled him a bit. It spoke to a time when such things, the niceties and enhancements of life, simply could not be had.

“I once, in fact, sat on the king’s knee. At the sort of party ladies such as you would certainly not be invited to attend. I was three years old.”

It was a deliberate, testing bit of wickedness.

Neither of them even blinked.

Which he liked.

“Lord . . .”

“Bolt.” He’d happily say his name just like that, all day long, knowing full well the impact it had and not giving a damn anymore.

“Very well. We thought we’d perhaps have a conversation before we admit you to The Grand Palace on the Thames, since we know only what we’ve read about you, you see,” she said.

“You have me at a disadvantage, then, as I have read nothing about you.”

They didn’t laugh.

Mrs. Breedlove gave him a tolerant little smile. “And it is such a struggle to remain out of the broadsheets.”

When he grinned at this, she turned her head away ever-so-slightly from him, toward the mantel. The line of her fine jaw and the slope of her throat, and the way her skin took the light like a pearl, suddenly struck him as almost insufferably lovely. It made him feel fleetingly restless, as if someone had dragged a hand over his fur backward.

“Perhaps the most pertinent thing we’re read about you is that you’re dead,” Mrs. Hardy pressed on.

“Boo, I’m a ghost,” he said mildly and fanned his fingers in mock fright.

Two strained smiles greeted this.

“Lord . . .” This was from Mrs. Hardy.

“Bolt.”

“May we presume that you’re claiming to be the very same Lord Bolt who raced a high flyer down Bond Street?”

“Not at all.”

There was a pause.

“You’re not claiming to be the same Lord Bolt who fought a duel with the Earl of Cargill and shot him in the shoulder?” Mrs. Breedlove also had an interesting recollection of his exploits.

“No.”

“And you’re not the Lord Bolt who wagered a thousand pounds by writing in the White’s betting book that a hummingbird would—”

“No.”

“Or that you wagered five hundred pounds that you could get a donkey to kick Lord—”

“No.”

“But . . . then . . .” This was Mrs. Hardy.

“It’s the word ‘claim’ I feel I must take issue with,” he clarified. “It rather implies a defense must be mounted, wouldn’t you say, in support of an assertion? Shall we choose a different verb? I was born Lucien Durand. My father is the Duke of Brexford. He was not married to my mother. My mother, Helene Durand, was beautiful, kind, and a bit of a fool. Hence my existence in the world.” He gave them what was meant to be a bit of a self-deprecating smile. “For which I am certain you are grateful.”

They regarded him with tiny polite smiles of their own.

He had the sense they wouldn’t have minded sliding the hairpins from their coiffures and jabbing him.

He liked their composure and their obvious intelligence. It wasn’t boring. He loathed boredom and he found it more and more difficult to tolerate dull people with anything like grace.

“To further expound, my father, the Duke of Brexford, persuaded the king to confer upon me the title and the modest lands when I was ten years old. I was in favor then, you see.” He said this very, very ironically. “It’s safe to say I am no longer. But I am still a viscount.”

“I feel I must point out that this portion of Lord Bolt’s . . . history is rather widely known in London and in other parts of England,” Mrs. Breedlove said gently. “Among those who read the broadsheets, most particularly.”

Bolt gave this the tiny taut smile it deserved. “Some weeks ago you decided to choose to accept one half of the token on the table and three guineas from a small, maddeningly efficient, nondescript, supercilious man, the sort who manages the sorcery of both blending into the wallpaper and nettling like a burr beneath a saddle, to hold your finest room for his employer, who would be me. His native dialect is irony, which you would probably come to understand if you spent a few years working for me as well.”

Their silence told him they remembered him well.

“I don’t believe that was mentioned in the broadsheets,” he concluded.

“Does this supercilious man have a name?” Mrs. Hardy said suddenly.

“Exeter. Mister Exeter.”

“Mister E,” Mrs. Hardy repeated, wonderingly, on a hush. The women shared a secret, a swift little mirth-filled glance he could not quite interpret. “And he’s your . . .”

“Solicitor. After a fashion.”

“Are we given to understand that you did not, indeed, drown in the Thames? There was a funeral, you know.”

“More after the fashion of a celebration, in some quarters,” he said calmly. He was certain he knew precisely who celebrated. Just as he knew precisely how he’d wound up in the Thames.

“It was reported that some women rent their garments,” Mrs. Hardy told him, dryly.

He smiled placidly. “They generally do when I’m about.”

Mrs. Breedlove had turned to study the flowers on the mantel with a little frown.

He knew this because he’d looked immediately for her reaction.

Mrs. Breedlove leaned forward a little. “Help us to understand something, Lord Bolt . . . If you didn’t drown, then . . .”

“As I was leaving a gaming hell I was accosted by two men and hurled into the Thames. I survived. Don’t know who the poor bloated soul was who was fished from the river and presented as proof of my demise, but it wasn’t me. I was on my way to China by then on a serendipitous clipper ship. Scooped from the water. I’m fortunate I did not wind up in a pie, like an eel.”

“This is London. One should never take for granted what winds up in a pie,” Mrs. Breedlove said evenly.

Frankly delighted by this, he transferred the whole of his attention to her. The later afternoon light through the window burnished her hair the color of an old doubloon, a shade or two darker than her gown.

“Words to live by,” he said gravely.

She turned ever so slightly away again, as though he were the sun, and not the great orb aiming beams through the window.

A silence ensued.

The room was comfortable, he’d grant it that. The proportions were gracious and pleasing. Through the sturdy closed doors came the strains of a muffled reel. A bit like the way it would sound if ghosts were having a party. Lucien had reached adulthood feeling both on the outside of things and at the center of things (usually gossip), and for an instant he felt that way again.

“As for that duel . . . It takes particular skill to avoid a target as big and black as the Earl of Cargill’s heart. He can still use his shoulder, but I’ll warrant he thought twice about using his mouth that carelessly again.”

They went perfectly still.

Mrs. Breedlove leaned forward just a little, and it took every scrap of breeding his father had insisted he acquire to keep his eyes on her face and not where they yearned to go, the expanse of creamy décolletage. “Lord . . .”

“Bolt. Or Viscount Bolt, if you prefer.”

“If you could help us understand why you’ve chosen to . . .” she paused ostentatiously “. . . favor . . . our establishment with your resurrection? And what are your plans for the future?”

Oh, well done, Mrs. Breedlove, he thought. He had a weakness for a good, irresistibly subtle piss-taking.

He met her direct gaze evenly. Her eyes were hazel, full of soft greens and golds, a surprisingly gentle color in such a coolly possessed woman. A bit like a spring dawn. The gears of time suddenly slipped. …

© 2019 Julie Anne Long

*****

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author JULIE ANNE LONG originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up (and she has the guitars and fringed clothing stuffed in the back of her closet to prove it), but writing was always her first love. Since hanging up her guitar for the computer keyboard, her books frequently top reader and critic polls and have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Rita, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and The Quills, and reviewers have been known to use words like “dazzling,” “brilliant,” and “impossible to put down” when describing them. Julie lives in Northern California.

Website http://www.julieannelong.com/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJulieAnneLong

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/julieannelong

Goodreads https://goo.gl/oZrpBG

Amazon https://amzn.to/2w6h28P

*****

Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of ANGEL IN A DEVIL’S ARMS by Julie Anne Long, we’re giving away a paperback copy of Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long!

http://bit.ly/2NiMNRD

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR. Giveaway ends 11/12/2019 @ 11:59pm EST.

*****

Review – Tacker

Tags

, , ,

If you are a fan of the Arizona Vengeance, there’s little doubt that you’ve been waiting for this story … if this is your first in the series, you picked a good one to start with!

*****

Tacker

Arizona Vengeance, Book #5

by Sawyer Bennett

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Blurb:

I am not okay.

Fifteen months ago, my life was turned upside down when the plane I was piloting went down. Injured and trapped in the wreckage, I had to watch my fiancée die a painfully slow death, which is something that can really mess with your head.

Since that day, I’ve had little desire to do much of anything. Except play hockey, that is. Because that is the one place where the bad memories are banished and I can escape my pain.

But off the ice, I’m spiraling out of control. Losing the grip on my life and putting myself and my career in danger. Now, thanks to a string of bad decisions, I’ve been ordered to complete therapy in order to stay on the team.

The problem? Nora Wayne, my beautiful and somewhat unconventional therapist. I can’t buy into the brand of happy clappy crap this woman is feeding me. What could she possibly understand about the type of loss that I’ve suffered? How does she know anything about finding happiness after losing the most important person in your life

Turns out, I’ve got a lot to learn, and she’s just the person I need to break through those walls I’ve erected.

I am not okay.

But for the first time in a long time, I know that I will be.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RXjtoI
B&N: http://bit.ly/2sTa5DH
Apple: https://apple.co/2G7ecnA
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2B7qZ6j
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Ro0cYv
Amazon PB: https://amzn.to/2TW7Omh
B&N PB: http://bit.ly/2mszRi4
Audible (narrated by Stephen Dexter & Lucy Rivers): https://adbl.co/2MmulIE

*****

Review:

Bennett proves again why she is my go to for a heartfelt read dressed up in hockey pads.  Tacker has had an unimaginable couple of years.  Losing a loved one and having to sit by while they died leaves a lot of pain behind and he’s not been handling it well.  After a HUGE mistake involving too much alcohol, a truck, and a cement wall, he has to finally address it or lose the only thing keeping him sane – hockey.  Enter Nora.  Smart, pretty, and empathetic, she turned her own horrible past into a career that lets her help others.  And it allows her to create a special connection to Tacker, guiding him as he comes to terms with his own emotions.

My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen a little more of their therapy sessions.  We are there for the oh-so-important break through and along the way as they share & grown closer.  But Tacker’s pain and guilt has been such a driving force in his life for so long that seeing the how of his recovery, not just the large leaps would have been nice.

I do appreciate that even in a book with so much pain and emotion, however, Bennett kept their actual relationship pretty drama free.  There’s a little concern over their growing feelings because of their professional relationship but I feel like it is handled in a way that gives the concerns their due.  It’s not handled lightly but addressed and then they move on.  I also like that the romance isn’t the main focus of the story – it’s about Tacker coming to terms with his past.  The love story is there but he has to be in the right place before it can go anywhere.

All about the feels, second chances, and moving on, Tacker manages to deliver on all of its potential of a book that was meant to grab you by the heart.  It was so good to see Tacker coming out of his self-imposed prison and learn to live again, connecting with others, and forgiving himself for being alive.

(While it is helpful to have read the rest of the series, it definitely is not required.  Most of the focus is on Nora and Tacker so their story can easily stand on its own.  I missed Dax’s story, the book before this one, and I did just fine 🙂 )

*****

Author Info:

Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released multiple books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active daughter, as well as full-time servant to her adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or even better, both.

Sawyer also writes general and women’s fiction under the pen name S. Bennett and sweet romance under the name Juliette Poe.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bennettbooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BennettBooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sawyerbennett123/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Sawyer_Bennett
Book+Main Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/sawyerbennett
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sawyer-bennett
Amazon: amazon.com/author/sawyerbennett
Newsletter: http://sawyerbennett.com/signup
Master Blogger List: http://goo.gl/forms/IT3YRVpvEk

*****

Spotlight – Stud Muffin

Tags

, ,

Stud Muffin, an all-new friends-to-lovers standalone romance from Jiffy Kate, is available now!

*****

Stud Muffin

Donner Bakery #2

by Jiffy Kate

Blurb:

It’s hard to get revenge without getting a rap sheet.

After Tempest Cassidy walks in on her husband banging her high school nemesis, her whole world gets turned upside down. She goes from being known as the Duchess of Muffins to the town crazy. Her new MO: revenge. Eventually, Tempest grows weary being arrested. Yet what choice does she have? If she’s not angry, then she’s simply . . . sad.

Just as she decides to get her life back on track, in walks Cage Erickson, the new bouncer at the local strip club. He’s scary-handsome and the polar opposite of her ex. She’s attracted to him, but she’s not looking for a rebound. He’s attracted to her, but he’s not looking for a serious relationship. So, they agree to be friends.

But when lines get blurred in the friend zone, will they both get burned? Or will it be a TKO?

‘Stud Muffin’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#2 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35TdNQh

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/StudMuffin

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2khZoKt

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2m25z5P

*****

Excerpt:

As Mindy gets closer, she begins rubbing her hand over her belly, ensuring I know she’s with spawn, I mean, child. How far along is she anyway? The picnic wasn’t that long ago and she didn’t look pregnant then, did she? Maybe she did, but I was too shocked by the ring on her finger to notice? My mother would’ve said something to me when she broke the news about Mindy and Asher being married, so she must not have noticed either.

Maybe she just carries big… and early. Maybe she’s pregnant with multiples. That would be rich—I can’t even get pregnant with one, but Mindy Mitchell, husband stealer extraordinaire, can have my husband and all the babies.

All I know is that I have to stop gawking because Mindy is enjoying this way too much.

“Hey, Tempest. Soup for one, I presume?” Her smile is wide and condescending as she glances at the contents of my shopping cart.

Bitch.

“You know, I’ve been so busy lately that canned soup is all I have time for some nights. It’s not always the healthiest option, with all that sodium, but I’m fortunate to not retain water, like you obviously do.”

Really, Tempest? Is that the best put-down you can think of?

“I’m not bloated, silly.” She laughs, swatting the air in front of her face. “I’m pregnant! Of course, I don’t expect you to notice the difference.”

It’s illegal to hit a pregnant lady, Tempest.

She’s not worth the jail time.

Deep, cleansing breaths.

You don’t look good in orange.

“How far along are you?” I ask, willing myself to stay calm. “Elephants are pregnant, for what, two years?” I know I’m being immature, but I’m using my words and not my fists, so I’m calling it a win.

“Gah, you’re such a bitch. No wonder Asher wanted to leave you. At least I was able to give him what he wanted,” she brags, rubbing her belly even faster than before.

Maybe if she rubs a little more, a fucking genie will pop out, and I can at least get three wishes out of this deal. Wish one: Asher and Mindy disappear off the face of the planet.

“And,” she continues, “because I know it’s driving you crazy, I’ll let you in on the secret. I’m in my third trimester.” She smiles and squeals, like we’re BFFs and she just told me the best news. “Just a couple more months to go and this precious bundle of joy will be in the world… Asher is going to be such a great daddy.”

The blood drains from my face as I do the math in my head. Asher and I have been divorced for almost two months. I found them in bed together three months before that. Two plus three does not equal the amount of months it takes to be in the third trimester. I know my pregnancy facts.

Mindy just answered one of my many burning questions: that sack of shit was cheating on me months before I busted him.

And now, he’s having a baby with someone else.

Honestly, I don’t know how to feel right now… numb, blind-sided, furious, hurt?

All I know is I’m trying my damnedest not to lose my shit.

Deep breaths.

“Believe me,” Mindy says, breaking through the haze I’m in. “I tried and tried to get Asher to leave you before you found out about us on your own, but he didn’t listen.” She sighs, like she’s disappointed for me… like she’s on my side and she was trying to do me a favor. “Oh, well, life goes on, right?”

We enter into a bit of a staring competition for a brief moment, her bright, smiling eyes against my crazy, sadistic glare. I feel the crazy oozing out of me. When she finally starts to back her buggy up to make a U-turn in the aisle, she has the audacity to smile… and wink at me.

She’s the incarnation of Satan.

Asher and Mindy aren’t going to have a bouncing bundle of joy, they’re going to have a devil love child. I should alert the media. This has a horror movie written all over it.

“See you around, Tempest,” she says over her shoulder, before stopping and turning. “Oh, I guess I’ll see you at the reunion, if not before… and you’re bringing a date, right?”

Deep breaths, Tempest.

I don’t answer her with words, only with my glare, hoping it burns a hole in her skull.

You can do this.

Don’t let that cow win.

After she makes a turn onto another aisle, I take a few more deep breaths, willing my nerves to calm, and when that doesn’t work, I close my eyes and try harder. With my hands on my knees, I suck in air like it’s going extinct. My breathing becomes routine and I automatically start swaying my body in preparation for the Tai Chi moves that come next.

Cage has been teaching me a little bit of Tai Chi to further help channel my anger and anxiety and I have to admit, I love it. Completely forgetting where I am, I begin to perform my favorite combination of steps. If people see me, I don’t care. I’d rather them talk about me doing Tai Chi in the canned goods aisle than losing my shit at the Piggly Wiggly.

I’m finally feeling relaxed and in control of my emotions, so to celebrate my victory, I decide to throw a few punches into the air, similar to what Rocky Balboa did after running up all those stairs in the movie.

I am Tempest Cassidy, master of my emotions.

Thoroughly enjoying myself, I decide to end my impromptu workout with a killer roundhouse kick… right into a tower of Pork N Beans.

At first, it’s only a few cans. I lurch out, containing them in a lunge, looking around to see who might’ve witnessed my performance. Only a lady down at the other end of the aisle seems to be in the know. I breathe out a sigh of relief, feeling uncharacteristically lucky as I try to balance the cans and myself.

Just as I decide it’s safe to stand up, I lose my balance and the cans in my hands take a tumble… and then the entire end cap begins to fall.

Cans.

Cans of Pork N Beans are rolling everywhere.

When everything finally comes to a rest, I’m sprawled out on the glossy tile of the Piggly Wiggly in aisle six, using my body as a dam to stop them from getting too far. I’m afraid to move… afraid to breathe…

*****

Author Info:

Jiffy Kate is the joint pen name for Jiff Simpson and Jenny Kate Altman. They’re co-writing besties who share a brain. They also share a love of cute boys, stiff drinks, and fun times.

Together, they’ve written over twenty stories. Their first published book, Finding Focus, was released in November 2015. Since then, they’ve continued to write what they know–southern settings full of swoony heroes and strong heroines.

Connect with Jiffy Kate

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kkDmqx

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2ki0mq5

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lGyhsz

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kkDkPr

Website: http://www.jiffykate.com/

Connect with Smartypants Romance

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kvDnb4

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2lzyduO

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lGdIMQ

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kwKsYK

Website: https://smartypantsromance.com/

*****

Book Review – Taming My Whiskey

Tags

, , , ,

Buckle up for a wild ride as Dixie Whiskey finds forever love in TAMING MY WHISKEY, a funny, sexy, and emotionally riveting standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. The perfect love story for those who enjoy fiercely loyal and insanely sexy alpha heroes, smart, sassy heroines, strong family bonds, bikers, babies, and more!

*****

Taming My Whiskey

The Whiskeys: Dark Knights at Peaceful Harbor #6

by Melissa Foster

Blurb:

Being the princess of the Dark Knights motorcycle club doesn’t come with a white knight or a fairy-tale castle, and that’s okay, because Dixie Whiskey has never needed a man to slay her dragons or make her whole. Even so, after watching each of her brothers fall in love, she’d sure like a shot at her own happily ever after. But with the Dark Knights watching over her and the only man she’s ever wanted out of reach, she’s not holding her breath.

As the launch of Silver-Stone Cycles’ biggest line approaches, Jace Stone is left needing a favor from the one woman who holds the power to take him to his knees. He knows when it comes to sinfully gorgeous and sharp-tongued Dixie Whiskey, he must stay on his toes and keep his walls firmly in place. But Jace needs her for his business—and Jace Stone always gets what he wants.

When the tall, gruff, and darkly handsome biker presents an opportunity that any other woman might see as the chance of a lifetime, Dixie turns him down flat. But Jace is determined, and he pulls out all the stops—sending Dixie’s overprotective brothers up in arms. Rebellious Dixie takes a stand—going after the freedom, and the man, she’s always wanted. One scorching kiss leads to an undeniable connection, but Jace isn’t looking to be tied down, and Dixie refuses to play second fiddle. Can two untamable hearts find forever love in each other’s arms?

The Whiskeys are perfect beach reads with depth of story, strong family ties, and a wealth of emotions. Small town love stories with happily ever afters guaranteed.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Barnes and Noble | KOBO | Apple | GPlay | Paperback

*****

Review:

Strong, sassy, a little bit prickly, and able to take care of herself, Dixie is all Whiskey and I’ve been so looking forward to getting to know her better.  Jace might knock her a little sideways but that attitude doesn’t let it last for long.  I really appreciate that even when she’s nursing a hurt and bruised heart, she only lets it get her down for so long.  She’s not going to be defined as THAT woman and dusts herself off, then come out swinging.  And in the end shows that it is the Whiskey women who do the taming, proving once again why she’s been a delightful addition to the series since the very first moment she was introduced to readers.

While I absolutely loved getting to know Dixie more, I think I’m in the minority of women who didn’t find Jace all that great.  His whole attitude of how awesome he is and how he has to save her from the broken heart he is sure to give her seems noble but rubbed me the wrong way somehow.  I’m sure that he knew she was attracted to him but … I don’t know, he just seemed to go about it wrong.  Dixie is a strong and confident woman who doesn’t need coddling – that’s what she’s proving to her brothers.  And why have her stay at his apartment if he’s that set on not getting involved.  But worst of all is his horrible communication skills.  As a self-made man, with years of business experience, you’d think he’d be better at sharing where he’s coming from.  I can kinda get it at first since he’s confused about his feelings but later he REALLY should have known better.  So much of their troubles are caused by him and I’d really don’t blame any of the brothers for any urges to take him apart that they might have had … just sayin’.  By the end I was super confused about where his head is at (and so is Dixie) – throughout the book he’s all over the place on his feelings, her feelings, their attraction, and where they’ve stood in the decade that they’ve known each other.

But I have to say that I’m very glad to have had a chance to be there to see the last of the Whiskeys fall in love.  While I’m sad to see the end for the main family, I’m really looking forward to what Foster has in store next.  She is amazing at creating interesting characters with complicated lives that just beg you to keep reading and there are a ton of friends &relatives that will keep us coming back for more for years to come.

*****

For more hot Whiskey love, check out Melissa’s other Whiskey novels.
TRU BLUE
TRULY MADLY WHISKEY
DRIVING WHISKEY WILD
WICKED WHISKEY LOVE
MAD ABOUT MOON
TAMING MY WHISKEY
And don’t miss RIVER OF LOVE, the first story in which the Whiskeys were introduced!

“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” – New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely

“You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that’s fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won’t want to stop reading. Every book’s a winner!” – NYT Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

“Melissa Foster writes worlds that draw you in, with strong heroes and brave heroines surrounded by a community that makes you want to crawl right on through the page and live there.” – New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent

In TRU BLU

There’s nothing Truman Gritt won’t do to protect his family–Including spending years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. When he’s finally released, the life he knew is turned upside down by his mother’s overdose, and Truman steps in to raise the children she’s left behind. Truman’s hard, he’s secretive, and he’s trying to save a brother who’s even more broken than he is. He’s never needed help in his life, and when beautiful Gemma Wright tries to step in, he’s less than accepting. But Gemma has a way of slithering into people’s lives and eventually she pierces through his ironclad heart. When Truman’s dark past collides with his future, his loyalties will be tested, and he’ll be faced with his toughest decision yet.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Barnes and Noble | KOBO | iBooks

In TRULY, MADLY, WHISKEY

Eight months is a long damn time to have the hots for a woman who keeps a guy at arm’s length. But Crystal Moon is no ordinary woman. She’s a sinfully sexy, sass-mouthed badass, and the subject of Bear Whiskey’s midnight fantasies. She’s also one of his closest friends.

Just when Crystal thinks she has her life under control, scorching-hot, possessive, aggressive, and fiercely loyal Bear pushes all her sexual buttons, relentless in his pursuit to make her his.

The more Bear pushes, the hotter their passion burns, unearthing memories for Crystal that are best kept buried. But there’s no stopping the collision of her past and present, catapulting the two lovers down an emotionally charged road that has them questioning all they thought they knew about themselves.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Barnes and Noble | KOBO | iBooks | GPlay | Paperback

In DRIVING WHISKEY WILD

Special Forces veteran and Dark Knights Motorcycle Club member Bullet Whiskey lives to protect his family, their bar, and the residents of his small hometown. He’s rough, unapologetic, and haunted by a secret, painful past. He’s also a master at keeping people away, and when his sister hires gorgeous and sweet Finlay Wilson to help expand their biker bar, he knows just how to get rid of her.

After losing her boyfriend and her father, Finlay moves back to her hometown to be closer to the little family she has left. She needs her temporary job at Whiskey Bro’s to get her catering business off the ground, and she’s determined not to let the gruff, arrogant mountain of a man Bullet Whiskey scare her off.

Finlay is everything Bullet has never wanted. She’s afraid of his dog, afraid of motorcycles, and sweet enough to give him cavities, but as she weaves her way into the hearts of everyone around him, he’s powerless to resist her charms. Passion ignites, but trust doesn’t come easily, and when their pasts collide, Bullet finds out the true meaning of protecting those he loves.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.ukBarnes and NobleKOBOiBooksGPlayPaperback

In WICKED WHISKEY LOVE

After escaping abusive parents and, later, an abusive relationship, Sarah Beckley has spent a lifetime watching snakes shed their skin. With two small children to care for and another on the way, she’s finally found a home in Peaceful Harbor with the brother she hasn’t seen in more than a decade. She’s still searching for her sister, but life is good. If only she could stop thinking about the sinfully sexy doctor/biker who has taken to her children like a loving uncle–and to her like a hungry man.

Trust doesn’t come easily for Sarah, but Bones Whiskey is patient and protective, amazing with her children, and he looks at her like she is the only woman he could ever want–and more. With two little ones underfoot, Sarah expects him to move on quickly, yet with every tender kiss and each trying moment with the children, Bones surprises her. But will the fiercely loyal biker stick around when Sarah’s worst secret is revealed, or will he shed his skin, too?

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Barnes and Noble | KOBO | iBooks | GPlay | Paperback

In MAD ABOUT MOON

Can true love strike twice in one lifetime?

Josie Beckley refuses to believe there is a limit on happiness. A decade after she escaped her abusive parents and lost touch with her siblings, the death of her husband leaves her and her son homeless. But Josie has never been one to wallow in sadness, and when she takes a chance on reconnecting with her siblings, a sinfully handsome bright light from her past shows up and offers to help her find a way out of the darkness.

Most people wouldn’t see Jed Moon as someone to look up to. He’s been in and out of jail and has lived a less-than-stellar lifestyle. But years ago one woman saw through his bullshit, and he’s never forgotten her. Now she’s back in his life, and as a prospect for the Dark Knights motorcycle club, Jed promises to keep an eye on the sassy, sexy single mother who has never stopped lighting his fantasies on fire.

Jed and Josie’s combustible connection is stronger than ever. Having Josie and her son in his life brings out all of Jed’s protective instincts-and visions of a future he never imagined having. But when a shocking revelation knocks the insatiable lovers to their knees, it forces them to make choices that could change their lives forever.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Barnes and Noble | KOBO | iBooks | GPlay | Paperback

*****

Author Info:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance and new adult romance lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex relatable issues.

Melissa also writes sweet romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

Melissa enjoys chatting with readers and book clubs. Send her an email invitation to your next event!

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

Find Melissa on the following sites…
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon Author Page

Click to get your FREE Love in Bloom Series Reading Order

*****

Giveaway:

Win a Tru Blue ebook
Two Winners

Ending on Sunday 10th November at 11.59pm EST

Open Worldwide

Enter Below & Good Luck !!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b25fc618458/

*****

Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team – Apply Here
Current book tours open for sign ups HERE

Spotlight – The Christmas Dare

Tags

, ,

It might be Halloween today but I am so very sweet on holiday romances!

*****

The Christmas Dare

Twilight, Texas series

by Lori Wilde

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Avon Books

Publication Date: October 22, 2019

Blurb:

A jilted-at-the-altar bride reunites with her high school sweetheart in Lori Wilde’s sensational new Twilight, Texas Christmas novel.

Kelsey James always played by the rules and look where it got her—dumped and half-drunk in a poofy white dress, her Christmas wedding ruined. Then her best friend talks her into going on her “honeymoon” anyway, daring her to a “Christmas of Yes.”  It’s about time she lets loose a little, so Kelsey agrees to say “yes” to fun, to romance, and to adventure! And adventure leads her right smack into the arms of sexy Noah MacGregor.

Noah’s never one to say no to a risk—from leading his NBA team to victory to making Christmas cookies in Twilight, he’s up to the challenge! But a lot has gone on since they were teenagers, and he knows he has to take his time to make Kelsey dare to believe that what they feel is more than just the holiday magic that’s in the air . . .

Purchase Your Copy Today!
Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

*****

Author Info:

A fifth generation Texan, LORI WILDE is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 82 works of fiction. She’s a three-time nominee of the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award and has won numerous other awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University, and a certificate in forensics.

She is also a certified Hatha yoga instructor, and runs a yoga/creativity retreat for artists at Epiphany Orchards in Weatherford, Texas, the Cutting Horse Capital of the World.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

*****

Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of THE CHRISTMAS DARE by Lori Wilde, we’re giving away a paperback copy The Christmas Key by Lori Wilde to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy The Christmas Key by Lori Wilde. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books.  Giveaway ends 11/4/2019 @ 11:59pm EST.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

*****

This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.

 

 

Spotlight – The Giving Heart

Tags

, ,

I just love small town romances, especially as we more into the holiday season!

*****

The Giving Heart

Summer Island, #2

by Toni Blake

Genre: Contemporary Romance; Small Town Romance

Imprint: HQN Books

On-sale date: October 29, 2019

Price: $7.99 USD / $10.99 CAD

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Blurb:

Spend a white Christmas on Summer Island, where the fires are warm and the romance is hotter

Lila Sloan wonders why she ever thought house-sitting for her sister Meg on the remote Summer Island was a good idea. And to make matters worse, local real estate developer Beck Grainger is trying to cut down the beautiful trees that line the property. Lila can’t let this happen; Meg will never forgive her.

Beck can understand Lila’s anger—sort of. The trees are actually on the neighboring property, and the land was zoned for development months ago, so his plans were no secret. But he dislikes being at odds with his friend’s sister, especially because Lila is appealing in every way: loyal, quick-witted and completely stunning.

Lila hates that she’s so attracted to Beck, who seems like a genuinely good man, despite his tree-murdering tendencies. And their chemistry is off the charts. She just wishes he’d let this development go. As Summer Island counts down to a snowy Christmas, Lila and Beck will have to strike a compromise that seems impossible for them both—or risk losing the best thing either of them has ever had.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1335505059

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-giving-heart-toni-blake/1129992772#/

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-giving-heart/id1446004163

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-giving-heart

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Toni_Blake_The_Giving_Heart?id=6z1-DwAAQBAJ

*****

Excerpt:

Five long, cold minutes later a tall, broad-shouldered man wearing a winter coat with blue jeans and some weird, worn, leathery sort of cowboy hat on his head came walking down from the direction of West Bluff. Despite herself, and for the first time ever in her life, she found herself envying work boots like the ones he had on because they appeared so sturdy and dry. She braced herself for a fight.

When she looked up at him, two things struck her simultaneously. First, he was ridiculously handsome—with dark hair peeking out from beneath that dumb hat, and dark stubble on his chiseled jaw to match. And second, his warm brown eyes wore that same confused, cautious look as the man on the bulldozer’s as he said, “I’m Beck Grainger. And…there seems to be some sort of problem here?”

Lila drew back. This was Beck Grainger? Who Meg had spoken of so fondly? And even Suzanne, too, during their short visit yesterday, had mentioned him as a friend. Meg had told her he’d been interested in dating Suzanne and she’d declined, but they both still thought he was a great guy.

“Well, I’m Lila Sloan,” she said. “And yes, there’s a problem. I’m not letting you destroy Meg’s property value like this.”

Beck Grainger’s dark eyebrows shot up beneath his leathery brim. “You’re Meg’s sister?”

She gave a terse, crisp nod.

The handsome man sighed, shifting his weight from one work boot to the other. “Look, no one is trying to destroy anyone’s property value. And I assumed Meg knew about this. It’s not a secret. It was brought publicly before the town council and zoned for residential use back in the spring.”

Ugh. None of this was good news. But Lila was certain Meg didn’t know. Her sister had been dealing with a lot this past year and perhaps hadn’t been paying attention to island business. They’d actually discussed these very woods over the Thanksgiving table last week, recalling how they’d played here as children when their grandmother was still alive and running the place. Meg said that a couple of years ago she’d crossed the stream to plant some shade-loving trillium and blue cranesbill among the trees, and that the small blooms had added color visible from the patio each of the last two summers. Meg loved and valued these trees. And Lila brimmed with anger that no one had made Meg aware of this—but that was neither here nor there. “I can assure you she doesn’t know.”

The handsome man’s brow narrowed skeptically. “Well, if it’s a problem for her, why didn’t she just pick up the phone and call me?”

“Because she’s away right now—traveling. And even if she were here, she wouldn’t have known you were the person to call. And maybe she would have done something sensible—because Meg is definitely sensible—like contact someone on the town council. But I, being less sensible and more rash, took a more direct approach. Meg left me in charge of the inn while she’s away—and I can’t let you do this. I just can’t.”

The tilt of Beck Grainger’s handsome head told her he was going to try reasoning with her. “You know, it’s not gonna be that bad. Luxury homes. With big yards. They’ll fit into the landscape.” He even ended the sentence with a wink. Was he serious? Given what Lila had been through recently, he was definitely barking up the wrong tree with an elitist suggestion that rich people made better neighbors.

“I don’t care what you’re building—you’re doing it at the expense of my sister’s inn. People stay here because of the ambiance and atmosphere. They stay here to listen to crickets in the trees and see fireflies blinking in the woods. We played in these trees as kids. They’ve been growing here since…well, since before Summer Island was even Summer Island. I can’t let you tear them down.”

*****

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author Toni Blake’s love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Since then, she has written over twenty contemporary romance novels. Her books have received the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, her work has been excerpted in Cosmopolitan, and she has been nominated for a RITA Award. Toni lives with her husband in Northern Kentucky.

Author Links

Website: http://www.toniblake.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorToniBlake

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorToniBlake

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authortoniblake/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/402788.Toni_Blake

*****

Giveaway:

Enter to win a copy of The Giving Heart by Toni Blake

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f113/

*****

Spotlight – Love in Due Time

Tags

, ,

Love in Due Time, an all-new second chance romantic comedy from L.B. Dunbar is available now!

*****

Love in Due Time

Green Valley Public Library series

by L.B. Dunbar

Blurb:

Naomi Winters will be forty—soon-ish—and she’s only been with one man. One night. One time. Long ago. She believes everything happens for a reason, and the universe spoke about Nathan Ryder.

Nathan Ryder isn’t the same man who hightailed his bike out of Green Valley eighteen years ago. As a rule breaker, women are one area he acts a fool. Case in point…the local librarian. He can’t get a read on her, but she’s one risk he’s willing to take. Again.

What do an eccentric librarian and a sexy silver biker have in common? More than you think.

The due date on their love might not be expired after all.

‘Love in Due Time’ is a full-length, contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Green Valley Library series.

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2kwBn29

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2m24uuN

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/LoveinDueTime

Nook: http://bit.ly/2kv2FpK

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2kx2n1t

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2m2Wytn

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2ku1o2d

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2kwPLr8

*****

Excerpt:

“Naomi?” My hands cover her shoulders, holding her steady.

“This is all my fault.” Her eyes widen, the widest I’ve ever seen. Panic fills them.

“What do you mean?”

“I … I can’t believe this happened again.” Her hands come to my chest, and she gently pushes at me. “You have to get out of here.”

“What?” My brows pinch at the harsh tone.

“You need to go. I can’t be near you.” Her voice struggles to stay level.

Ouch. That stings a little.

“Why?” I take one step back under the force of her hands.

“I can’t be around you. This can’t happen.”

“Lady, what are you talking about?” My voice roughens.

“Bad things always happen after I’m with you.”

I stiffen, straightening to my full height. My arms cross and I glare down at her. Saying such a thing is just downright mean. Her head shakes as her fingers curl along the open edges of my work jacket. Suddenly, I feel like she’s tugging me to her instead of pressing me away.

What the …

“When I’m with you, something happens. Something bad.” Her breath catches. “Because we kissed, the library is closing.”

I stare at her. She can’t be serious, but I see the hysteria in her eyes, like a rabid, trapped animal. She actually believes what she says.

“Well, we didn’t kiss,” I remind her, my tone stern and condescending. “I kissed you, remember? And you didn’t kiss me back, so I don’t think it counts.”

She glares up at me, her fingers still gripping my open jacket. Her shoulders fall, her head lowers, and it’s as if I can visibly see her relax, like water cascading down a building, washing over her.

Exhale. Settle.

Exhale. Calm.

“I didn’t kiss you back?” she questions and then her head pops up again. She nearly shrieks with the hesitant realization. Commence inhaling, like she’s winding up again. Full steam ahead.

“I didn’t kiss you back,” she repeats, her excitement growing. Another exaggerated inhale.

“I didn’t kiss you back!” Now, she’s just downright gloating, and the engine’s ready to blow.

“You don’t have to sound so pleased,” I murmur. I glance up and notice Mrs. MacIntyre watching us through the window of the librarian’s office behind the check-out counter. Her eyes narrow and I’m certain we’re making too much noise for her liking.

“I … I’m so relieved,” Naomi admits, her head falling forward, her fingers loosening on my jacket. Then her face turns up again. Her lids lift, slow and lazy. Her mouth curls in sweet relief, and she pulls herself up on her toes by the open edge of my jacket and does the damnedest thing. She kisses me.

*****

Author Info:

L.B. Dunbar loves the sweeter things in life: cookies, Coca-Cola, and romance. Her reading journey began with a deep love of fairy tales, medieval knights, Regency debauchery, and alpha males. She loves a deep belly laugh and a strong hug. Occasionally, she has the energy of a Jack Russell terrier. Accused—yes, that’s the correct word—of having an overactive imagination, to her benefit, such an imagination works well. Author of over two dozen novels, she’s created sweet, small town worlds; rock star mayhem; MMA chaos; sexy rom-coms for the over 40; and intrigue on an island of redemption. In addition, she is earning a title as the “myth and legend lady” for her modernizations of mythology as elda lore. Her other duties in life include mother to four children and wife to the one and only.

Connect with L.B. Dunbar

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kkGqTy

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2lzEmHo

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2kvIEiS

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2k1Rk0d

Website: https://www.lbdunbar.com/

Connect with Smartypants Romance

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kvDnb4

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2lzyduO

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lGdIMQ

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kwKsYK

Website: https://smartypantsromance.com/

*****