Spotlight – A Soldier Under Her Tree

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Today’s my birthday *woo* so I’m continuing with our week of feel good reads 🙂 Then it’s off for a few days for US Thanksgiving so … see ya next week!

*****

A Soldier Under Her Tree

by Kathy Douglass

Price: $5.99

ON-sale date: December 1, 2020

ISBN: 9781335894991

Blurb: 

Tis the season…for a second shot at love. Could a fake boyfriend be her real hero this Christmas?

When her ex-fiancé shows up at her shop—engaged to her sister!—dress designer Hannah Carpenter doesn’t know what to do. Especially when her former fling Russell Danielson sees her plight and rides to the rescue, offering a fake relationship to foil her rude relations. The thing is, there’s nothing fake about his kiss… But when things get real, will the sexy soldier once again stop short of commitment?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335894991_a-soldier-under-her-tree.html 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-soldier-under-her-tree-kathy-douglass/1137123782?ean=9781335894991&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC 

Booksamillion: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335894991?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=cd84ca9017ad11eb829e02870a240614 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Soldier-Under-Sweet-Briar-Sweethearts-ebook/dp/B089MC97CK/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=A+Soldier+Under+Her+Tree+%28Sweet+Briar+Sweethearts%2C+8%29&linkCode=gs3&qid=1603732094&sr=8-1&tag=haperpublican-20 

Indie bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335894991

*****

Excerpt:

“Why do you have to be like that? I tried to resist. We both did, for your sake. That’s why we didn’t get married right away. We were considering your feelings. But Gerald and I are in love and want to be together.”

Hannah managed not to throw up the yogurt she’d grabbed for breakfast. Respect for her feelings wasn’t the reason Dinah and Gerald hadn’t gotten married three years ago. They hadn’t tied the knot because Dinah hadn’t been divorced yet. Her ex-husband hadn’t been in the mood to give her half of what he’d earned, so the proceedings had dragged on and on. Of course, had Dinah been as much in love with Gerald as she’d claimed, she would have just walked away from her then eight-month marriage and a huge settlement. But Dinah had absorbed their mother’s teaching quite well. Never leave a dollar behind.

“I’m not stopping you. Get married. Have the biggest wedding the state of Virginia has seen. Heck, all of America has seen. But leave me out of it.”

Gerald stepped forward then. Hannah had hoped to never see the weasel ever again. Yet here he was, standing right in front of her. He was average height with hair that was beginning to thin and cold, calculating eyes. Hannah wondered what she’d ever seen in him. When they’d worked together at his father’s architectural firm, she’d been impressed by what she’d interpreted as his drive and desire to make a name for himself. Now she realized that had just been a mirage.

“Hannah, we weren’t right for each other.” Was he trying to sound sympathetic? If so, he was failing miserably. But then, true feelings weren’t included in his limited repertoire. “I know you feel the same way.”

“You got that right.”

“I know you’re hurt and disappointed,” he said as if he hadn’t heard a word she’d said. Apparently he’d prepared this speech and intended to recite every word of it. “But don’t hold it against Dinah.”

“You’re unbelievable. Please, all of you, just leave.”

“Not until you agree to make my dress,” Dinah said. Clearly trying to make nice was putting a strain on her and she was reverting to type.

Hannah had a business to run. A customer could come in at any moment. She needed to put an end to this now.

“You know, I can always call the chief of police. He’s a friend, too.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Eleanor said indignantly, pressing a manicured hand against her chest.

“Actually I would,” Hannah said, hoping her mother wouldn’t call her bluff. Hannah didn’t want anyone in town, especially her friends, to know about her messed up family. She’d never told a soul about them or how Gerald had betrayed her. And she never would. But Eleanor didn’t know that.

“There’s no need for that,” Eleanor said hastily, trying to get back on script. “Hannah, just consider what’s best for the family. And for you.”

“How would it look if you, a successful dress designer to the stars, refuse to design a wedding dress for your only sister? It could harm your reputation if anyone ever found out how petty you’re being,” Dinah added.

“Was that a threat? That’s an interesting strategy for someone asking a favor.”

“I’m just pointing out the obvious. You like to pretend that you’re the victim. Poor betrayed Hannah. The truth is Gerald dumped you because he didn’t want you. He wanted me.” Dinah preened as if she were some sort of prize. “You’ve always been jealous of my beauty. I would have thought you’d gotten over it by now. Maybe if you could find a man, you wouldn’t be so bitter. But then, maybe you haven’t met anyone desperate enough.”

Hannah gasped. That was low even for Dinah.

The sound of a throat being loudly cleared filled the uneasy silence. Hannah closed her eyes. 

Just what she’d hoped to avoid—a witness to her family’s dysfunction and her personal humiliation.

She opened her eyes and turned to face her customer.

Russell Danielson. Her good friend’s brother. She’d met Russell this past summer when he’d been in Sweet Briar visiting his siblings and their families. They’d hit it off and spent a glorious evening together. He’d promised to contact her when he got back to his duty station. He hadn’t.

She’d been hurt when he’d ghosted her—disappointed even—but not surprised. She was still down on men. Besides, though they’d had a couple of good conversations, those talks hadn’t involved anything truly personal. Still, she’d thought they’d connected. Clearly she’d been wrong.

Russell looked around the room, taking in the scene, and then smiled. Did he find the way she was standing against the wall while they circled her like sharks amusing? “Sorry I’m late.”

“Uh.” Late for what? Until he’d stepped into her store, she hadn’t known he was in town.

He crossed the room, not stopping until he was standing an inch in front on her. Instinctively she inhaled and got a whiff of his delectable scent. He was wearing a woodsy cologne, which when mingled with his natural scent made her weak in the knees. Before she could utter a word, he put his arms around her waist and pulled her into a kiss. 

His lips were warm, and the pressure was perfect. He lingered for a few seconds before pulling away. Though he’d ended the kiss, he kept his arm firmly around her waist, which was good since her knees had turned to Jell-O.

*****

Author Info:

Kathy Douglass came by her love of reading naturally – both of her parents were readers. She would finish one book and pick up another. Then she attended law school and traded romances for legal opinions. After the birth of her two children, her love of reading turned into a love of writing. Kathy now spends her days writing the small town contemporary novels she enjoys reading. Kathy loves to hear from her readers and can be found on Facebook.

*****

Spotlight – His Holiday Prayer

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Another feel good read that’s perfect for this time of year.

*****

His Holiday Prayer

by Tina Radcliffe

Love Inspired

On Sale: December 1, 2020

ISBN: 9781335488558

Price: $5.99

Blurb: 

A new beginning could be closer than he thinks.

What he wants for Christmas may not be what he needs. After receiving an unexpected job offer in Texas, widower Tucker Rainbolt decides he and his twins need a fresh start. But moving on means leaving his best friend, Jena Harper, and their vet clinic behind. For the first time, Tucker sees Jena as more than a buddy. What if leaving isn’t the answer? Maybe what he’s been missing has been right beside him the whole time…

From Harlequin Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335488558_his-holiday-prayer.html 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-holiday-prayer-tina-radcliffe/1136975013?ean=9781335488558&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Holiday-Prayer-Hearts-Oklahoma-Book-ebook/dp/B0883DRR1F/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=His+Holiday+Prayer+%28Hearts+of+Oklahoma%2C+3%29&linkCode=gs3&qid=1603823394&sr=8-1&tag=haperpublican-20 

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335488558 

BAM: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335488558?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=68c2fd0a188211eb808500ae0a24060d 

*****

Excerpt:

“Looking good, Muffin.” Jena Harper examined the suture line on the English bulldog, then removed her gloves with a snap. She gave the dog a gentle massage behind the ears before turning her over to the clinic technician.

“Any special orders, Dr. Harper?” Pilar Lopez asked.

“No, her incision looks great. Give the Tuttles a call and let them know their princess is ready to pick up.” Jena glanced at the clock. “Remind them that the clinic closes early on Saturdays.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Thanks, Pilar. And thank you for working overtime until we find a second tech,” Jena said.

“No problem, Doc. Mind if I take off after I call? My son has a scout meeting.”

“Go ahead, and have a great rest of the weekend.” Jena headed to the sink, scrubbed her hands and rinsed them before pushing through the swinging door to the staff area where her partner at Rebel Vet and Rescue, Tucker Rainbolt, stood at the counter in the file room, documenting in a patient chart.

“Thanks for handling those last few appointments, Tucker,” she said. 

He yawned and ran a hand through short, caramel-colored hair. “That’s what I’m here for.”

“Yes, but you already put in the entire morning out at Rebel Ranch treating that stallion.”

“Small animals are a nice change of pace from the equine clinic. Hopefully Monday and Tuesday will be quiet for you, since I won’t be around to help.”

“Ah, yes. You’re headed to Texas.” She shook her head. “Explain to me why you’d want to speak at a university whose football team annihilated us this year?”

Tucker chuckled. “Life is not just about animals and Oklahoma State football, Jena.”

She opened her lab coat to show off her OSU Cowboys black-and-orange sweatshirt, which managed to be both gaudy and tacky. “Says who?”

He stopped writing and looked at her. “You never cease to amaze me.”

“I consider that a compliment.”

“Don’t you ever feel a little stifled in Rebel?” he asked.

“No. I love this town.” Rebel was idyllic. Small enough that you knew nearly everyone’s name. Then from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the population swelled with tourists. There was always something going on thanks to nearby Rebel Lake and Keystone Lake. Yes, Rebel, Oklahoma, was pretty much perfect.

“Hmm,” Tucker murmured. “I guess the difference is that you don’t have two older brothers who hover over you at every turn.”

“You have a supportive family who are concerned about your well-being. You’re very fortunate.” Tucker had no clue what it was like to have zero family, and she prayed he’d never know that feeling of being alone in the world.

“Yeah. Extremely fortunate,” Tucker agreed. “But all that concern comes at a price.” He released a slow breath. 

“I’ll forever be the little brother. Even more so since we lost Levi and Megan.”

Jena grimaced. It hadn’t been her intention to bring up memories of those dark times when Tucker lost both his wife and his younger brother in separate incidents but so close together.

“It’s not their fault,” he said. “And it is getting better since both Reece and Mitch got married. Eventually, the folks in this town will ease off, too.”

“The town?”

“Jena, the pastor’s wife will pick up her dog shortly. When she does, she’ll bring me a casserole. The woman has had my name on her outreach calendar for over four years, since Megan passed. When I suggest removing me, she won’t hear of it. Ridiculous, but there it is.”

“Oh, wow. I had no idea. And I feel like a jerk of a friend for not noticing. I’m sorry, Tucker.”

“Don’t apologize. You’re the only one who doesn’t treat me with kid gloves.”

She chuckled. “No, I can’t say that I do.” Often the two of them had running disagreements about all sorts of things. She definitely had no fear of telling him the truth about…pretty much everything. That’s what made them such good friends. They could and did talk.

“Sometimes, I wonder if maybe there’s something else out there for me.” Tucker stared through the storefront window of the clinic as though he was a million miles away from Rebel.

Panic gripped Jena around the middle as the reality of his words sank in. “You’re not thinking of leaving Rebel, are you?”

“Not at the moment.”

“Good.”

When the front door bells chimed, they both turned toward the sound. 

Tucker followed Jena to the reception area just in time to see Saylor Tuttle sashay through the doggie entrance, holding a foil-covered pan and bringing with her the unmistakable scents of gardenia perfume and tomato sauce, along with a chilly late October breeze.

“Tucker,” she said. “So glad you’re still here.” The pastor’s wife slid the casserole onto the counter and then patted her sky-high, silver bouffant hair.

Turning slightly toward Jena, Tucker raised his brows with a ‘see what I mean’ expression.

“Thank you, Mrs. Tuttle.” He smiled. “You know you can take me off the list any time now, right?”

“Nonsense. It’s an honor for the ladies’ outreach to assist you during this difficult time.”

“Let me go get Muffin,” he said.

“Muffin is healing nicely,” Jena said to Mrs. Tuttle. “Keep the E-collar on to prevent her from messing with the incision line and continue cleaning the area as you have been.”

The older woman leaned across the counter. “You know, honey, if you’d marry him, I could take him off my calendar.”

“Excuse me?” Jena inched away from the desk, eyes rounding as she processed the woman’s words. “Are you talking about Tucker?”

“Who else? He’s a catch and you’re the most likely candidate.”

Jena took a breath. It wouldn’t do to insult the pastor’s wife, so she measured her response. “Tucker and I are friends. We went to college together and started the clinic together. I’m the twins’ godmother.” She raised a hand, then lowered it to the counter, still stunned. Never in a couple zillion years would she ruin their friendship and their professional bond by crossing that line.

*****

Author Info:

Tina Radcliffe has been dreaming and scribbling for years. Originally from Western NY, she left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany, and ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Her past careers include: Certified Oncology R.N. and library cataloger.  She recently moved from Denver, Colorado, to the Phoenix, Arizona area, where she writes heartwarming and fun inspirational romance.

*****

Spotlight – Christmas Protection Detail

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I’m in the mood for a feel good read, made even better with a little danger thrown in.

*****

Christmas Protection Detail

by Terri Reed

Love Inspired Suspense

On Sale: December 1, 2020

ISBN: 9781335403223

Price: $5.99

Blurb: 

He’ll do anything to protect a baby in jeopardy…

When a call from a friend in trouble leads Nick Delaney and Deputy Kaitlyn Lanz to a car crash that killed a single mother, they become the baby’s protectors. Now figuring out why someone is after the child is the only way to save her. But they must find answers soon…or this baby’s first Christmas might just be Nick’s and Kaitlyn’s last.

From Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith. 

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335403223_christmas-protection-detail.html 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-protection-detail-terri-reed/1136975731?ean=9781335403223&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Christmas-Protection-Detail-Inspired-Suspense-ebook/dp/B0886F4H3F/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Christmas+Protection+Detail+%28Love+Inspired+Suspense%29&linkCode=gs3&qid=1603823591&sr=8-1&tag=haperpublican-20 

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335403223 

BAM: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335403223?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=de6507c3188211eb804700ae0a24060c

*****

Excerpt:

Deputy Kaitlyn Lanz climbed the short stepladder to reach the last few branches needing to be decorated on the Christmas tree in the Bristle Township Community Center. The combined celebration of the season and the retirement of Bristle Township’s sheriff, James Ryder, was in full swing all around her. Christmas tunes played from the speakers mounted to the ceiling. The music competed with the many conversations taking place.

It seemed the whole town had turned out for the festivities. Kaitlyn had to admit she was pleased that so many people wanted to wish her boss—uh, former boss—well.

She sent up a quick prayer that nothing would mar the festive event. For some reason, she’d been anxious lately. Nothing specific, just a vague sense of doom that hit her at odd times. She chalked it up to losing the sheriff to fishing and traveling. 

It had been several months since there’d been any real trouble in town or any need for the mounted patrol to mobilize. Not that she was complaining, because she loved being a part of the Bristle County sheriff’s department’s long tradition of patrols on horseback.

Like similar units in many Western states, the mounted patrol was comprised of both armed deputies and unarmed civilian volunteers, also referred to as auxiliary members. They provided search and rescue, as well as community and forest patrols. It was one of the various aspects of her job as keeper of the peace that utilized her many skills. She took pride in her job and always strove to do well at protecting the citizens of her town.

But tonight, she wasn’t going to let anything keep her from enjoying the party.

“A little to the left.”

The deep baritone voice caused her to jerk and fumble with the ornament she was attempting to hang on the large Douglas fir tree standing in the corner of the community center. Balanced on top of the stepladder to reach a high branch, she wobbled. So much for enjoying the party. Nick Delaney, the second in line to inherit the Delaney fortune, had become the bane of her existence over the past year.

He grasped her by the waist with surprising strength, stabilizing her on the short ladder. “Steady there.”

She threw an irritated glance over her shoulder at the man. “I’ve got it.”

“Of course. But maybe hang it a little to the left,” he said, directing her placement of the glittery ornament.

Her heart thumped maddeningly. And not because she’d almost fallen from the ladder. Nick looked good tonight. As always. So maddening. Could he, just once, be unattractive?

He was dressed to impress in crisply creased black slacks and a finely tailored gray sport coat over a dark green mock turtleneck sweater. His dark hair was swept off his forehead to accentuate his chiseled cheekbones. His dark eyes sparkled, and his grin was much too confident.

From the moment she’d met the younger son of the local eccentric billionaire, Nick’s arrogance had rubbed her nerves raw.

Abruptly, she turned back to the tree, placed the ornament where she had intended and stepped down from the ladder, forcing him to release his hold and move back to give her room. “I like it where it is.”

He shrugged. “You know best, Deputy.”

She gritted her back teeth. He made the moniker sound pretentious. Turning her attention to the tree, she realized with a sinking sensation he’d been right. The turtledove glass bauble she’d brought from home needed to be a bit more to the left for symmetry.

Ah, well. She wasn’t perfect and neither were her ornament hanging abilities. But she certainly wouldn’t give Nick the satisfaction of knowing she regretted not listening to his advice. Had it been anyone else, she no doubt would have adjusted the ornament accordingly. What was it about Nick that put her on edge all the time?

She had a suspicion her irritation stemmed from the fact that he reminded her of her college boyfriend, Jason. A relationship that hadn’t ended well.

“Here.” Nick thrust a red box with a white bow at her.

*****

Author Info:

Award winning, multipublished author Terri Reed discovered the wonderful world of fiction at an early age and declared she would one day write a book. Now she’s fulfilling that dream by writing for Love Inspired. She is a member of both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. You can visit her online at http://www.terrireed.com or email her at terrireed@sterling.net or leave comments on http://craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com/ or http://www.loveinspiredauthors.com

~

 

Spotlight – Custom Built

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Who likes their heroes a little bit bad but with a heart of gold?

*****

Custom Built

Fast & Fury, #1

by Chantal Fernando

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Imprint: Carina Press 

On Sale: November 24, 2020

Format: Mass Market Paperback (ebook and audio also available)

Price: $8.99 U.S.

ISBN: 9781335200136

Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Chantal Fernando brings you Fast & Fury: A sexy new series fully loaded with intense emotions and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

After losing her job, saying goodbye to a lifelong dream, and having an all-around cruddy year, Bronte Pierce needs a break. A job at Fast & Fury might be just the thing to reset her life, even though she knows nothing about custom motorcycles.  But taking a job isn’t the same as keeping it, and her fresh start quickly turns into a fresh nightmare.

Starting with her boss. Crow is hard-headed, stubborn and brutally honest. He may be easy on the eyes, but he runs with an MC, and he’s anything but friendly to Bronte. She suspects he has a softer side—just not for her.

Her whole life, Bronte has known that the only person she can truly count on to save the day is herself. But when a single murder turns into a conspiracy and the threat to her life is more than she can handle alone, it’s Crow who comes through—and her newfound family might just become her greatest strength.

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335200136 

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335200136_custom-built.html 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Custom-Built-Fast-Chantal-Fernando/dp/1335200134 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/custom-built-chantal-fernando/1136925128 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/custom-built/id1510111810 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Chantal_Fernando_Custom_Built?id=3PfeDwAAQBAJ 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/custom-built

*****

Excerpt:

Stepping inside the warehouse is like a whole other world. There’s beautifully done graffiti on the walls, and the workspace shows off brand-new, sparkling bikes. The main room leads into a wide spacious garage, and it has a cool, urban vibe. There’s music playing over the speakers, and it doesn’t look like they have spared any expense with the interior design. In the middle, there’s a reception area with a large, expensive-looking wooden desk and a little staircase leading to another level, one with bikes in various states of being rebuilt. It’s a pretty awesome space.

“Hello?” I call out when I see no one around. Apparently they really do need staff. I’m assuming I’m supposed to be meeting Crow, but I have no idea what to expect right now.

A door opens from behind the reception area, and a tall, muscular blond man walks out. He’s very handsome. He’s covered in tattoos and looks good even bowing shirt with a white top underneath. I wonder if this is his usual look.

Even with the shirt, he screams bad boy.

The bright pattern isn’t fooling anybody.

Blue eyes lock on me. “Bronte Pierce?”

“That’s me,” I say, shaking his hand as he offers it. “Nice to meet you.”

“I’m Crow, and I’m in charge here. We have two mechanics coming in and out to help Cam put together the bikes. But it’s a small group since we only do custom pieces.”

So this is who messaged me yesterday.

“So are you Abbie’s partner?” I ask, since Uncle Neville said he owned the place. If he is, she has done very, very well for herself.

He gives me a confused look, then laughs. I don’t want to admit what the sound of his laugh does to me; it’s deep and all consuming. Great, now I’m having weird feelings about my cousin’s partner and I haven’t even met my cousin yet. Way to build a relationship. Oh yeah, and he’s my boss.

Snap out of it, Bronte. You’re here to work, and that’s it.

Once he’s done laughing, he still has a smirk on his face. I’m not going to lie; it kind of annoys me. “No, Temper is Abbie’s partner. Don’t let him hear you ask me that.”

“But you said you’re in charge. I was told Abbie’s partner owns the place.”

His smirk is gone and now he just looks annoyed. 

“Yes, Temper technically owns it, but I am in charge here. Is that going to be a problem?”

Shit. Great, first I was attracted to the boss, and now I’m pissing him off. “Nope. Not a problem. Sorry, I just found out about Abbie, so I’m playing catch-up. You’re in charge. Got it.”

And apparently not a topic I will bring up again.

He looks at me skeptically but gives me a brief nod. “We basically need someone to man the reception, answer phones, order parts and stay on top of all the bookkeeping. Sound manageable?”

I decide that honesty is the best policy. “I have done some admin work before, but I don’t know anything about bikes or ordering parts. But I’m a quick learner and I’m sure I can pick it up.” I give him my best I-am-confident look.

I hope he buys it.

It’s the truth, though. I’ve done work more complicated than this, and I’m eager to learn and be the best at whatever job I am doing. I’m someone who takes pride in her work, and I know that I’m going to be an asset to his team.

“Abbie said you were a private investigator?”

“I was an assistant to one, yes.” I nod.

“Huh. I would have guessed a librarian,” he comments, making my eyes widen. I mean, I was only just thinking the same thing based on how I dressed today, but it’s rude of him to mention that, especially after only just meeting me. “I hope you’re able to handle the job, and don’t expect any special treatment just because you’re Abbie’s long-lost cousin.”

My jaw drops. His comment really gets to me, even though I don’t want to let him see that. “I don’t expect any special treatment.”

“That’s good, but not true, because special treatment got you this job in the first place,” he replies casually, as if his words aren’t hitting every damn nerve.

I should have known that this job was going to come with a catch, and it looks like I’ve found it. An annoying, smart-ass boss.

Copyright © 2020 by Chantal Fernando

*****

Author Info:

Chantal Fernando is the New York Times bestselling author of the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club series, the Cursed Raven Motorcycle Club series, and the Maybe series, along with several other novels. She lives in Western Australia, where she is working on her next book.

Website: http://www.authorchantalfernando.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChantalFernando

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7056719.Chantal_Fernando

*****

Spotlight – The Wife He Needs

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Brenda Jackson is a staple in the romance industry and I haven’t known her to let us down.

*****

The Wife He Needs

Westmoreland Legacy: The Outlaws

by Brenda Jackson

Price: $5.25

ON-sale date: December 15, 2020

ISBN: 9781335209498

Blurb:

Will this billionaire bachelor say “I do” to love? He desires her more than any other woman. 

The arrangement is simple: a two-week getaway, then a marriage of convenience. Until Garth Outlaw’s potential bride is a no-show. Now family pilot Regan Fairchild is sharing his bed—and he can’t get enough…even though he’s vowed never to love again. Can Regan convince him the wife he needs and the woman he desires are one and the same?

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335209498_the-wife-he-needs.html 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wife-he-needs-brenda-jackson/1136842226;jsessionid=2ECF3D844DE35F72DE585E252A2F60BA.prodny_store01-atgap04?ean=9781335209498&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC 

Booksamillion: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335209498?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=8473421617aa11eb835002a40a24060f 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1335209492?linkCode=gs2&tag=haperpublican-20 

Indie bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335209498 

*****

Excerpt:

“So, when is the wedding, Garth?”

Garth Outlaw raised his eyes from studying his cards. Was his brother playing mind games to mess with his concentration?

“And just what wedding are you talking about?”

Garth glanced around the table and saw the smirks on the faces of all four of his brothers. Even Jess had made a trip home from the nation’s capital for a week long visit.

“Is anyone going to answer?” Garth asked.

Jess grinned as he threw out a card. “I heard it from Dad the moment I walked through the door. He claims you’ve gotten over Karen Piccard, decided to settle down and do whatever needs to be done for the benefit of the company, which includes getting a wife and making babies to guarantee the Outlaw dynasty. Those were his words, not mine.”

“We heard the same thing,” Cash said, with Sloan and Maverick nodding in agreement.

Garth didn’t say anything. Being the oldest son of Bartram “Bart” Outlaw wasn’t easy, especially when his father liked spreading information that wasn’t true. However, in this case, it was. At least partly. He was planning to do what needed to be done for the company. But he seriously doubted he would ever get over Karen. She would always have his heart.

“No wedding date has been set because I haven’t chosen a bride.”

His brother Cash sat up straight in his chair. “Are you really thinking about settling down with a wife and making babies?” he asked, as if the thought of doing such a thing was as unheard of as living in outer space.

Garth threw out some chips. “Why not? I don’t see any of you guys rushing to the altar to continue the Outlaw legacy. Not even you, Jess, and you’re the politician in the family. You of all people should be thinking about acquiring a wife.” A couple of years ago, Jess had gotten elected as a senator from Alaska.

A grin touched Jess’s lips. “No, thank you. I’m not ready to fall in love.”

Garth shrugged. “Who said anything about falling in love?”

“You’re thinking of marrying a woman you don’t love?” This question came from Sloan. 

“For me there’s no other way.”

There was no reason to explain what he meant. They knew.

“And you’ll do it because Bart says it needs to be done?”

Garth rolled his eyes at his youngest brother, Maverick, who’d been quiet up to now. “No, I’ll consider doing it because I think it’s about time I settled down. I’m thirty-eight, and dating gets old.”

“Speak for yourself,” Maverick said, grinning. “I happen to enjoy dating a lot of women.”

Garth shook his head. “And Walker got me thinking. Look how long he was a loner before he got married. If he can do it, then anyone can.”

Walker Rafferty was Garth’s best friend. A couple of years ago, Walker had met his current wife and now they were parents to twins, a boy and a girl they’d named Walker and Westlyn. Nobody thought Walker would ever remarry after losing his first wife and son in a car accident. Surprisingly, ten years later, Walker had fallen in love again. Garth was happy for Walker, and inspired to settle down, but honestly, he couldn’t see himself falling in love. He was convinced Karen was the only woman he was meant to love.

*****

Author Info:

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling. Email Brenda at authorbrendajackson@gmail.com or visit her on her website at brendajackson.net.

*****

Spotlight – Stolen to Wear His Crown

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Harlequin has been a favorite of mine for a LOT of years and they’ve published books from some of the best authors in the industry.

*****

Stolen to Wear His Crown

by Marcella Bell

Price: $5.25

ON-sale date: 11/01/2020

ISBN: 9781335149107

Blurb:

From unworldly scientist… to his fearless queen!

Mina has finally achieved her dream of becoming chief scientific advisor of Cyrano, when she’s stolen from the interview room! She’s taken directly to the palace chapel, where the terms of a secret betrothal mean she must marry the king—immediately. Powerful King Zayn knows all too well monarchs can’t afford dangerous distractions like love. Yet still, he’s appalled to be wed to a complete stranger! Mina is altogether too sensitive, too scholarly, too unpolished to be queen. But that can’t stop the desire that flares each time she looks his way…

From Harlequin Presents: Escape to exotic locations where passion knows no bounds.

The Queen’s Guard, Book 1: Stolen to Wear His Crown

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335149107_stolen-to-wear-his-crown.html

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stolen-to-wear-his-crown-marcella-bell/1136821832;jsessionid=E543C62822034E4F20AC775757D2818B.prodny_store02-atgap03?ean=9781335149107&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC

Booksamillion: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335149107?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=e211f0300ee911eb816b01140a24060b

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Stolen-Wear-Crown-Queens-Guard-ebook/dp/B086WKGST3/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Stolen+to+Wear+His+Crown+%28The+Queen%27s+Guard%29&linkCode=gs3&qid=1602768291&sr=8-1&tag=haperpublican-20

Indie bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335149107

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=9781335149107

*****

Excerpt:

Mina Aldaba smoothed her palms over her hair as she took a deep breath. The motion wouldn’t do anything against the strengsth and determination of her curls to frizz—even if there was enough moisture in her palms to give it some hold—but it felt purposeful. On the other side of the ornately carved door in front of her sat the men and women of Parliament—the people whose decision would dictate whether or not she finally kept her promise to her father.

Like her hair, she was determined and untamable. She had done everything she could, with a full heart and to the very best of her ability—and that had carried her to this side of the door, inches away from the chance to achieve everything she had ever wanted.

The rest was up to the men and women inside.

The thought set off a series of stuttering palpitations in her chest—and not the kind that could ever be confused with excitement.

This next part was up to fate. The only thing she could do was be herself, trust her knowledge, and hope that that would carry her through. Unfortunately, faith wasn’t one of her stronger virtues. She hadn’t gotten to this side of the door by wishing. She’d done it by force of will and desire, continuous studying and practice, so she would be ready to deliver when the opportunity came.

Now was that opportunity.

She could steel her spine even if she couldn’t calm her stomach.

She wore her usual black pantsuit and white blouse. Selecting one size up and choosing a square cut lent her hyper-feminine figure some much-needed gravitas. The hard lines of the design concealed any hint of curve—which she appreciated, given her very round derrière and rather Rubenesque chest. Dressing her figure for academia—or, more accurately, concealing her figure for academia—was a challenge that she hadn’t anticipated when she’d decided to become a scientist at twelve years old.

Still, one had to accept what one had.

She would never forget the day a female colleague had taken her aside about it, though.

“You’re going to have to do something about all of that.”

Her fellow doctoral candidate had spoken blithely as she’d gestured in a vague circle toward Mina’s jeans-clad rear and her breasts with a long red fingernail.

“It’s just too much,” she’d added. “You’ll never be taken seriously.”

At the time, the words had stung, but Mina was grateful for them. Her colleague had been right. The thin old uni sweatshirt she’d been wearing that day had stretched across her full chest, and her jeans had been form-fitted. 

She’d looked like the student she had always been, rather than the professional academic she was becoming, and the world she’d been about to enter was cutthroat, old-fashioned, and antagonistic—especially if you happened to have been born with female anatomy.

As soon as she had transformed her attire, her work had begun to garner more attention. Her male colleagues, it appeared, had been able to focus on it, rather than her.

Thankfully, she had mastered those ropes long ago—so well, in fact, that she was now in line to reap the highest professional reward: an interview for the appointment of an adviser to the King of Cyrano.

In preparation, her dense chocolate-brown curls had been ruthlessly brushed back from her face, heavily gelled, and confined into a thick French braid. Today—a day in which when she couldn’t afford to have even a single hair out of place—she had used nearly double the amount of product to tame the springy, indomitable mass.

She had learned long ago to avoid putting her hair in a bun. Too many academics harbored sexy librarian fantasies.

The combination of the suit and the braid created a no-nonsense image—that of a serious academic. It was precisely what Mina wanted to project. Especially since she was the youngest candidate ever to sit for a parliamentary interview—and only the second woman ever nominated.

The door cracked open, and a page popped his perfectly coiffed head out.

*****

Author Info:

Marcella Bell lives in the mostly-sunny wilds of Southern Oregon with her husband, children, father, and three mismatched mutts. The dry hot summers and four distinct annual seasons of the region are a far cry from the weird rainy streets of Portland, OR, where she grew up, but she wouldn’t trade her quirky mountain valley home for anyplace else on the earth. As a late bloomer and a yogini, Marcella is drawn to romance that showcases love’s incredible power to transform.

*****

Review – Cupcakes & Christmas

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Scott’s newest is a straightforward, sweet, feel good read.

*****

Cupcakes & Christmas

by RJ Scott

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Length: 67,000 words approx.

Blurb:

The story of long nights in a wintry mountain hotel, a baking show with secrets, a snowman called Jeremy, and finding the greatest love of all.

After winning season four of ratings hit the World’s Best Baking Show, Brody Thomas had become a sought-after cake maker to the stars. Happily married, he dreamed of a bright future, but his perfect life imploded when he discovered that his husband had done nothing but lie to him. A year later, Brody is mid-divorce, and his life has been turned upside down, so being part of the WBBS charity event is excellent timing. He’s sure it will give him time away from home and space to get his head straight, only he never expected to meet the man of his dreams in a snowy Alberta.

Winning season one of WBBS gave Justin Mallory a chance to outrun the demons of a childhood lost in the foster system. He’s a social media influencer, with millions of followers, and works every hour to make money that equals security for the rest of his life. His marketing team signs him up for the WBBS Christmas charity show, but he’s convinced he’ll fall at the first hurdle. Only, after a few days in the competition, his worry isn’t that he’ll be the first to leave, it’s that he’ll lose his heart to a rival baker, Brody.

ALL BUY LINKS

*****

Review:

I have to admit that I really didn’t find Justin that appealing early on. He was young when he won the baking show and has managed to turn himself into an “influencer” but he seems to have gotten too caught up in it. He didn’t have a solid childhood so he’s trying to get to the point he feels comfortable about his financial future. It’s caused him to make a few poor choices and he’s starting to struggle with it. And meeting a truly good soul in Brody only emphasizes how lost he’s become. He stumbles a few times but the developing relationship with Brody has him figuring out the right thing to do.

Brody is much more appealing from the first. He might have taken a hit to his self-esteem but his heart is good. And meeting Justin has him realizing that his ex might not have broken him after all. He’s a positive influence on Justin and quickly the two are spending time together, growing closer.

Cupcakes & Christmas is sweet, simple, and full of all the good things that makes a holiday romance work. Two people meet, develop feelings for one another, face their demons, and figure out a way to have a future together, which makes for a straight-up, feel-good read. The best kind for this time of year!

*****

Author Info:

RJ Scott is a USA TODAY bestselling author of over 140 romance and suspense novels. From bodyguards to hockey stars, princes to millionaires, cowboys to military heroes to every-day heroes, she believes that love is love and every man deserves a happy ending.

Find RJ here: 

Amazon | BookBub | Facebook

Also, Never miss a release

*****

Spotlight – Just Like This

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Anyone else looking to have Rian’s problem?

*****

Just Like This

Albin Academy, #2

by Cole McCade

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Imprint: Carina Press (Carina Adores)

On Sale: November 24, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback 

Price: $14.99 U.S.

ISBN: 9781335200907

Blurb:

Rian Falwell has a problem.

And his name is Damon Louis.

Rian’s life as the art teacher to a gaggle of displaced boys at Albin Academy should be smooth sailing—until the stubborn, grouchy football coach comes into his world like a lightning strike and ignites a heated conflict that would leave them sworn enemies if not for a common goal.

A student in peril. A troubling secret. And two men who are polar opposites but must work together to protect their charges.

They shouldn’t want each other. They shouldn’t even like each other.

Yet as they fight to save a young man from the edge, they discover more than they thought possible about each other—and about themselves.

In the space between hatred, they find love.

And the lives they have always wanted…

Just like this.

“The romantic longing, themes of bravery and confidence, and moments of cozy domesticity shine.” —Publishers Weekly on Just Like That

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335200907

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335200907_just-like-this.html 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Like-This-Albin-Academy/dp/1335200908

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-like-this-cole-mccade/1136892693

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/just-like-this/id1506928629

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cole_McCade_Just_Like_This?id=_vTbDwAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/just-like-this-3

*****

Excerpt:

Rian Falwell had a problem.

And that problem was currently staring at him through a messy tangle of black hair, from beneath a brow dotted with gleaming beads of sweat that—beneath the glassy afternoon light streaming through the windows—turned to glistening motes of amber against dusky brown skin.

Honestly, if Damon Louis was going to come barging into Rian’s studio like this…

He could at least have the decency to wear a shirt.

The P.E. teacher took up far too much space inside the tiny cubicle of a studio, his shoulders so broad they had almost touched both sides of the door frame as he’d stalked inside. He looked as if he’d just stepped out of the gym, with his wide, sculpted, scar-rippled chest glazed in a sheen of sweat and a pair of loose black track pants hanging off his hips, the elastic waistband barely clinging to the narrow line cut below his iliac crest. His shoulder-length tumbles of dark hair clumped together, completely drenched, droplets dangling from the tips.

But as overheated as Damon looked?

His dark brown eyes were completely cold—glossed to reflective ice as he folded thick, brawny arms over his chest and took a slow look around the cluttered space of Rian’s studio.

Rian could track the line of his gaze—starting with the gloppy pile of clay on his pottery wheel; a pile that would eventually become a vase, but right now was just misshapen lumps of gray.

Then to the thin sheets of handmade papyrus parchment drying on a clothesline strung across the room, pulped and pressed from the fallen early autumn leaves of the trees around Albin Academy, an experiment Rian had been quite pleased with when it resulted in fine paper with a green-gold translucent fragility, flecked with bits of brown from the leaves’ veins and stems.

Next, the many half-finished canvases propped about on their easels, slashed with angry, bold strokes of paint in abstract designs.

The anatomical diagrams pinned to the walls.

And the extra large sketchbook left open on his worktable, displaying loose, light sketches of male bodies in motion, focused on capturing the flow of sinew in the turn of the waist, the tightening of an arm as it drew back, the extension of the body and curve of the spine during a long, lazy reach.

Damon’s eyes lingered longest on that one, his dark, expressive brows rising fractionally, almost mockingly—and Rian’s face burned.

All of these were his personal projects, all unfinished, but still things he put everything he had into.

So why was this stone-faced, unsmiling jerk standing here looking over them like he was about to assign Rian a failing score?

What was he even doing here at all?

Those dark brown eyes snapped back to him as if Damon had somehow heard the question snarling in the back of Rian’s mind.

“So,” Damon drawled, and Rian realized this was the first time he’d actually heard Damon speak in his three years at Albin Academy, rather than noncommittal affirmative mutters during staff meetings. His voice was deep, raw, gritty, with a subtle pull to it that didn’t quite seem to echo typical New England accents around Massachusetts. “I thought this was some kinda broom closet. Chambers and Walden know you’re using it for…” He tilted his head. A damp ripple of hair fell across the refined sharpness of his cheekbone, the tip practically licking at the corner of his wide, full, stern-set mouth. “…this?”

Rian tensed.

More at the implied scorn dripping from this than at the fact he’d been…uh…

Caught using school grounds for unauthorized purposes.

He doubted Principal Chambers and Assistant Principal Walden would particularly care. Especially when Rian had been using the storeroom as a studio since he’d been hired, and no one had really noticed—though considering Lachlan Walden had only been hired last semester, the assistant principal had more things to worry about than one rogue art teacher moving a few brooms.

So Rian drew himself up, lifting his chin as he reached for the wet rag hanging from the edge of his wheel and began wiping the thick patina of clay from his hands, peeling off the cold, clinging layer.

My broom closet,” he said firmly. “Attached to my classroom. I’m allowed to use it as I deem necessary as long as it’s for educational purposes.”

This…counted…technically.

He was the art teacher.

Copyright © 2020 by Cole McCade

*****

Author Info:

Cole McCade is a New Orleans-born Southern boy without the Southern accent, currently residing somewhere in Seattle. He spends his days as a suit-and-tie corporate consultant and business writer, and his nights writing contemporary romance and erotica that flirts with the edge of taboo—when he’s not being tackled by two hyperactive cats. 

He also writes genre-bending science fiction and fantasy tinged with a touch of horror and flavored by the influences of his multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual background as Xen. He wavers between calling himself bisexual, calling himself queer, and trying to figure out where “demi” fits into the whole mess—but no matter what word he uses he’s a staunch advocate of LGBTQIA and POC representation and visibility in genre fiction. And while he spends more time than is healthy hiding in his writing cave instead of hanging around social media, you can generally find him in these usual haunts:

Website & Blog: http://blackmagicblues.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thisblackmagic

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xen.cole 

Tumblr: https://thisblackmagic.tumblr.com/

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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cole-mccade 

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/ColeMcCadeBooks

*****

Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

A new Carina Adores title is available each month in trade paperback, ebook and audiobook formats.

  • Just Like That by Cole McCade (available now!)
  • Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters (available now!)
  • Better Than People by Roan Parrish (available now!)
  • The Secret Ingredient by KD Fisher (available now!)
  • Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love by Kim Fielding (coming December 29, 2020)
  • The Beautiful Things Shoppe by Philip William Stover (coming January 26, 2021)
  • Our Level Best by Roan Parrish (coming February 23, 2021)
  • Learn to Knit in Nine Months or Less by Hettie Bell (coming March 30, 2021)

Spotlight – Claiming His Bollywood Cinderella

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Cinderella story romances are some of my favorites. Must be that love of fairy tales left over from childhood.

*****

Claiming Him Bollywood Cinderella

by Tara Pammi

ISBN: 9781335149008

On-sale date: Oct 27, 2020

Price: $5.25

Blurb:

He’s a Bollywood superstar, she’s a personal assistant… And their one night proves that keeping things professional will be impossible in this passionate and uplifting Cinderella romance from Tara Pammi. A brief encounter… A forbidden fairy tale!

The hottest actor in Bollywood, Vikram Raawal has found love countless times—when he’s playing a role. In real life, he’s given up on finding a soul-deep connection and prefers to focus entirely on his career. Until at a masquerade ball, one woman leaves him craving more…

Naina Menon’s first impression of drop-dead gorgeous Vikram left much to be desired. But then one heart-stopping night shows her there’s so much more to him than his celebrity persona. Still, he’s a billionaire, and she’s a humble assistant. Is passion enough to bridge their different worlds?

From Harlequin Presents: Escape to exotic locations where passion knows no bounds.

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335149008_claiming-his-bollywood-cinderella.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Claiming-His-Bollywood-Cinderella-Passionate/dp/1335149007/ref=tmm_mmp_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1599749334&sr=8-1 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/claiming-his-bollywood-cinderella-tara-pammi/1137570745;jsessionid=71F78FF0EBC3D33A3821E2E870204F49.prodny_store02-atgap08?ean=9781335149008&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC 

Booksamillion: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335149008?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=c0848027f37411ea83d600c00a24060e 

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335149008 

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Born-Into-Bollywood-1-Claiming-His-Bollywood-Cinderella-Paperback-9781335149008/249913529

*****

Excerpt:

Vikram Raawal walked up the steps of Raawal Mahal, his family’s two-hundred-year-old palatial ancestral bungalow. It was the only property his parents had left unsullied by their still-tempestuous marriage of forty years. 

The muggy October afternoon was redolent with the pungent aroma of the jasmine creeper that his grandfather had planted for his wife all those years ago. 

His grandparents had shared a love story that couldn’t be recreated by all the glittering sets and stars of Bollywood. If not for the fact that Vikram had very clear memories of them—Daadu and Daadi sitting side by side listening to ghazals on the gramophone, sharing stories with him and his younger brother and sister, Daadi keeping silent vigil by her husband’s side as he vanished away into nothing…he would have scoffed at even the idea of such a love. 

But he had seen it. He’d been a part of it. He’d found comfort and joy in its shadow. And today, at the age of thirty-six, memories of that love hit him hard. 

He was lonely, he admitted to himself, as he walked through the gated courtyard toward the main bungalow. The strains of an old ghazal played on the gramophone player, sinking sweetly into his veins, slowly releasing the pent-up tension he’d been carrying. He laughed at the mural his younger brother, Virat, had painted on one wall where a profusion of plants and flowerpots sat on an elevated concrete bench. 

The cozy bungalow, full of sweet memories and peaceful childhood associations, was his favorite place in the world. And yet, he had avoided visiting for almost two months, using out-of-country shoots and overloaded scheduling as excuses. 

But here in this place where he was just Vikram and not Vikram Raawal, Bollywood star, and the chairman of the family production company Raawal House of Cinema, he couldn’t lie to himself. 

He hadn’t wanted to expose himself to his daadi’s brand of perceptiveness. He hadn’t wanted her to see how unhappy he’d been of late. How…unsettled in his own skin. 

The raucous burst of a man’s laughter punctured his thoughts. It was Virat. 

For a few seconds, Vikram considered turning around and walking out. His recent argument with his brother had been far dirtier than their usual headbutting over projects for Raawal House. Being called arrogant and dominating by a brother that he loved and respected had…shaken him.

The laughter came again and Vikram’s curiosity trumped his reluctance. He walked through the grand salon, filled with his grandfather’s trophies and accolades from a career that had lasted close to five decades in Bollywood.

Vijay Raawal had not only been a celebrated actor and director but had built his career from the ground up after traveling the country with a theater group for years. Started his own production company, and taken the industry in a new direction. Made mainstream films, art projects, and careers of many stars and never once lost his integrity.

How had his grandfather sustained such a glittering career in such a superficial and cutthroat industry? Had it been simply the unconditional support Daadi had offered him through everything?

After fifteen years and numerous box office hits in Bollywood, Vikram had suddenly found himself filled with a strange feeling of discontent all of a sudden. But it was more than creative burnout. In a cinematic twist, he’d found himself wanting the same kind of support and affection from someone that Daadi had given Daadu while knowing that he wasn’t actually capable of returning it.

In a crazy moment of impulse, he’d asked his best friend Zara to marry him. Thankfully, Zara had instantly said no. That he had even considered marriage in the first place—even if it was to his oldest and longest friend, showed how unlike himself he was currently feeling.

He nodded at Ramu Kaka—his grandfather’s old manservant, as old and comfortingly familiar as the bungalow itself.

The first thing that hit him as he entered the expansive sitting room was the subtle scent of roses. Every inch of him stilled as he stood over the threshold, his long form hidden from his daadi and Virat by the L-shaped angle of the hall. They were lounging on the divan, while a number of their servants stood huddled by the other door that led to the huge kitchen. Every mouth twitched in varying degrees of smiles.

In the middle of the room, kneeling on the rug, was a young woman with her face in profile to Vikram. Evening sunlight filtered through the high windows in the room and lit up her silhouette. The first thing he noted was the dark halo of her hair, curly and thick like her very own crown, that swung from side to side every time she moved her head, and huge glittering earrings that reminded him of the crystal chandelier Mama had spent thousands of dollars on in some Italian boutique.

The earrings swayed enchantingly every time the young woman moved her head. And she did it a lot. His mouth curved.

Wide eyes, pert nose and a lush mouth moved in constant animation, along with her plump body. Almost anesthetized by seeing size zero bodies on movie sets, he let his gaze return to the voluptuous lines of her body with a curious fascination. A white cotton kurta hugged her breasts, a long chain of glittery beads dancing over them. 

White stones on tiny half-moon gold hoops glinted in a perfect line over the shell of her left ear, winking mischievously in the waning sunlight. With her multihued skirt spread out around her in a kaleidoscope of colors, she was a gorgeous burst of color against a gray landscape. 

Full of life and verve and authenticity he hadn’t seen in a long time. 

A thrilling sliver of excitement bloomed in his gut even as he frowned at the oversized stuffed teddy bear on the floor in front of her. Suddenly, the woman opened her mouth and screamed. 

The cry was deep rather than shrill, perfectly modulated, and eerily familiar. 

Vikram watched in increasing fascination as she extended her arms and bent to scoop up the stuffed toy from the ground into her arms. The gold and silver-colored bracelets she wore on one wrist tinkled at the moment, adding their own background score to the entire scene. 

And then it came to him. 

She was enacting a scene. From a recent movie. His latest action thriller. 

She was…mocking him? 

She was imitating the cheesiest line he’d ever said in front of a camera and she was doing a fantastic job of pinpointing everything he’d hated about the movie and in particular, that scene. 

*****

Author Info:

Tara writes sexy romances with swoon-worthy heroes and sassy heroines – whether the classic Presents or the bantery contemporaries! Her heroines are sometimes smart badasses and sometimes shy geeks but all of them find the perfect hero. Because every heroine deserves a love story!

Tara lives in Texas with her very own Hero (who’s kind of a mix of Alpha and Beta and is perfect) and two Heroines-in-making. When she isn’t writing or reading, Tara can be found failing in the kitchen, binge-watching her favorite shows on NetFlix, or making resolutions in her pretty planner to exercise more, or even a little.

Website: https://www.tarapammi.com/ 

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

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/tarapammi/ 

*****

Spotlight – Claiming the Rancher’s Heir

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Ooooh, an enemies-to-lovers marriage-of-convenience for the holidays … sounds fun!

*****

Claiming the Rancher’s Heir

Gold Valley Vineyards series

by Maisey Yates

ISBN: 9781335154002

Price: $7.99

On Sale Date: Nov 10, 2020

Blurb:

Arrogant, infuriating, insufferable… And the sexiest man she’s ever met.

Wren Maxfield hates Creed Cooper, but now she’s working with the wealthy rancher over the holidays! Those strong feelings hide undeniable chemistry…and one wild night results in pregnancy. Now Creed vows to claim his heir. That means proposing a marriage in name only. But as desire takes over, is that a deal they can keep?

Includes Rancher’s Wild Secret, a bonus story!

Emerson Maxfield is a sheltered beauty who never steps out of line. Now she must marry her family’s enemy before desire spells downfall for them all…

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335154002_claiming-the-ranchers-heir-ranchers-wild-secret.html

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/claiming-the-ranchers-heir-ranchers-wild-secret-maisey-yates/1135079360?ean=9781335154002&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Claiming-Ranchers-Heir-Wild-Secret-ebook/dp/B081X8L4YB/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Claiming+the+Rancher%27s+Heir+by+maisey+yates&qid=1599748181&sr=8-2

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335154002

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=9781335154002

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Excerpt:

Creed Cooper was a cowboy. A rich, successful cowboy from one of the most well-regarded families in Logan County. He also happened to be tall, muscular and in possession of the kind of good looks a lot of women liked.

As a result, nearly nothing—or no one—was off-limits to him.

No one except Wren Maxfield.

Maybe that was why every time he looked at her his hands itched.

To unwind that tight bun from her hair. To make that mouth, which was always flattened in disapproval—at least around him—get soft and sexy and get all over his body. 

And he had that itch a lot, considering he and Wren were the representatives for their respective families’ vineyards. Rivals, in fact.

And she hated him.

She hated him so much that when she saw him her eyes flared with a particular kind of fire.

Fair enough, since he couldn’t really stand her either.

But somehow, years ago, a piece of that dislike inside him had twisted and caught hard in his gut and turned into an intensity of another kind entirely.

He was obsessed.

Obsessed with the idea he might be able to use that fire in her eyes to burn up the sheets between them.

Instead, he had to listen to her heels clicking on the floor as she paced around the showroom of Cowboy Wines, looking like a smug cat, making him wait to hear whatever plan it was she’d come to tell him about.

“Are you listening to me?” she asked suddenly, her green cat eyes getting sharp.

She was dressed in a tight-fitting red dress that fell to the top of her knees. It had a high, wide neck, and while it didn’t show a lot of skin, it hugged her full breasts so tight it didn’t leave a lot to the imagination.

Even if it had, his imagination was damn good. And it was willing to work for Wren. Overtime. 

She had on those ridiculous spiked heels, too. Red, like the dress. He wanted to see her in only those heels.

He wasn’t into prissy women. Not generally. He liked a more practical girl. A cowgirl who would be at home on his ranch.

Wren looked like she never left her family showroom, all glass walls and wrought iron furniture. Maxfield Vineyards was the premier wine brand for people who were up their own asses.

And still, he wanted her.

That might be her greatest sin.

That she tested control he’d had firmly leashed for the last eighteen years and made him want to send it right to hell as he burned in her body.

Of all the reasons to hate Wren Maxfield, wanting her and not being able to do a damn thing to make himself stop was number one on the list.

He looked around the Cowboy Wines showroom, the barrels with glass tabletops on them, the heavy, distressed beams that ran the length of the room.

And then there was him: battered jeans and cowboy boots, a hat for good measure.

Everything a woman like Wren would hate.

A testament to just why there was no reason to carry a burning torch for her fine little body.

Too bad his own body was a dumbass.

“I wasn’t listening at all,” he said, making sure to drawl it. As slow as possible. He was rewarded with a subtle flare of heat in those eyes. “Make it more interesting next time, Wren. Maybe do a dance.”

“The only dancing I’ll ever do is on your grave, Creed.”

The sparring sent a kick of lust through him. They did this every time they were in a room together. Every damn time. No matter that he knew he shouldn’t indulge it.

But hell, he was afraid the alternative was stripping her naked and screwing her against the nearest wall, and that wasn’t a real option.

So verbal sparring it was.

“What did I die of?” he asked. “Boredom?”

Those eyes shot sparks at him. “It was tragic. You were found with a high heel protruding out of your chest.” Her magic lips curved upward and he felt it like she’d pressed them against his neck.

“Any suspects so far?”

“Your own smart mouth. Are you going to listen to me or not?”

“You’re already here. So am I. Might as well.”

He leaned back in his chair and, for effect, put his boots up on the table.

Her top lip curled up into a sneer, and that thrilled him just as much as if she’d crossed the room to straddle his lap. Okay, maybe not just as much, but he loved that he got to her.

*****

Author Info:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.

In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances  set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

Website: http://www.maiseyyates.com/

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaiseyYates.Author/

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