Spotlight – The Daddy Coach

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Clueless, single dads can be pretty hard to resist …

*****

The Daddy Coach

by Karen Muir

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Hoping to vindicate her brother, botanist Gina Dunn poses as a nanny to the man she believes framed him. Even though she grew up in a dysfunctional home, how hard can it be looking after twin four-year-old boys? If she can nurture rare orchids, surely she can handle this.

Instant fatherhood hits contractor Will Sinclair hard when his twin sons he didn’t know existed come to live with him. The rebellious boys reject Will as their real dad, forcing him to turn to Gina, his new nanny, for her “expert” help.

Interacting with Will and his boys as a “daddy” coach, Gina starts to crave the family she’s always longed to have. But Will’s reaction when he learns of her deception isn’t her biggest fear––one of two men she loves is lying…

Get Your Copy

Entangled  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks | Goodreads

*****

Excerpt:

They drove home in silence, the boys too tired to search for red cars. The outing had gone well, but Will wondered if he could have done more. Reviewing Gina’s suggestions, he remembered one in particular:  sing a silly song. His jaw tightened. He’d rather eat dirt.

Instead, he sang out boldly about the doggie in the window. No one joined in, and he felt like a fool, but he soldiered on solo through the first verse. He finished to total silence, broken seconds later by cries from both boys to “Sing it again!”

Once again, he filled the car with his booming voice. “How much is that doggie in the window?” When Ian and Harry chimed in with hearty “Woof-Woofs,” he laughed. Being silly with his boys made him feel like a kid again too–happy and carefree.

The third time through, Gina joined in too. About time. Her voice was pleasing and strong, but way off-key. His grin widened. She turned to him, laughing, and her smile sucker-punched him in the gut. Entranced, his voice wavered, his brain stalled. The boys’ eager “woof! woofs” filled the gap.

She turned abruptly to stare out the passenger window, but not before he caught the approval in her eyes. Another first. He’d done something right. It made him want to sing more goofy songs. “Thanks for today,” he said. “Your suggestions were right on.”

She turned to him, her smile gone. “You take good notes. Retrieving the buckets was a game changer.”

“Hopefully, our next outing will be easier. And warmer.” Still no smile. And no reply. Would there be a next outing? She was back to being cool and distant, looking out her side window. The attraction he felt was apparently one-sided.

Fair enough. She was right to remind  him of the roles they both played. She was the nanny his sons adored, the key to their newfound happiness. Far too valuable to risk losing to a

failed romance. He was as the employer, the daddy in training. For the sake of all of them, he had to keep that straight.

*****

Author Info:

A sense of humor was a must when Karen taught elementary grades and Head Start, and she’s always loved books and movies that make her laugh. Karen’s Fish Out of Water series from Entangled Publishing deals with heroines thrust outside their comfort zones. Their first meetings with their heroes tend to be quirky. An English Lit major at the University of Washington, Karen now reads mostly genre novels. Contemporary and historical romances and mysteries are my favorites. She loves camping–out in the wilds and close to nature–with all the comforts of our motor home. Sitting by a clear mountain stream with a good book to read is her idea of heaven.

Connect with Karen

Website | Twitter | Facebook

*****

Giveaway:

$20 Amazon Giftcard

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb840/

*****

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Spotlight – Claiming Sarah

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Looking for a romantic suspense read? Susan Stoker has just what you need!

*****

Opposites Attract: When Cole Claims Sarah

In Claiming Sarah, Cole Johnson is co-owner of one of his town’s most popular gyms. He’s extremely busy since his partner, Felicity, is out of town. He makes an appointment to meet with Sarah Butler, to arrange for some self defense training for her, but he almost loses his chance when she overhears him telling his secretary he’s too busy and to give her an excuse as to why he can’t meet her. The couple (obviously) works out that awkward first meeting and Sarah begins learning how to defend herself from a creepy man who keeps giving her inappropriate presents. Of course the more time Cole spends with Sarah, the more he likes her and they end up dating. When she disappears it’s up to Cole, and Ace Security, to put together the clues to find her before it’s too late.

Cole Johnson is a man who’s used to plowing through his day and when he needs or wants something, he simply gets it. Sarah Butler is more reserved. As a kid who didn’t feel wanted until she was finally adopted she was used to being in the background. Cole and Sarah compliment each other perfectly. Cole is able to ferret out what Sarah wants and needs and he delivers. And in return Sarah keeps Cole grounded. She smooths out his jagged edges.

I think that’s how good relationships work, at least in my books. The Hero is there to protect and shield his woman from anyone or anything that might want to hurt her, and she’s there to keep him grounded and to support him. It seems to just work.

*****

Claiming Sarah

Ace Security series

by Susan Stoker

Release Date: September 10, 2019

Publisher: Montlake

Blurb:

Sarah Butler isn’t flattered. She’s angry and unnerved. She’s been getting intimate gifts from a man she barely knows. Nothing threatening yet, but there’s just a weird vibe she can’t ignore. Her recourse is Ace Security. Their solution: self-defense lessons at Rock Hard Gym with a personal, hands-on instructor. One look at the bearded, tattooed, green-eyed alpha is enough to take Sarah’s breath away.

Cole Johnson is definitely the man for the job. He’s eager to train her. Eager to get closer. And when it comes to Sarah’s instincts, Cole knows she’s not imagining things. He’s also not imagining the intense attraction between them—and his desire to protect her is growing. But so are Sarah’s fears, the worst of which come true when she disappears.

Enlisting the help of Ace Security, Cole will stop at nothing to find the love of his life . . . before she vanishes forever.

Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2NPoUTv

*****

Excerpt:

“Do you ask out every woman you train at your gym? It just seems . . . fast.”

Cole stared at her for a long moment, and when he frowned, Sarah felt as if she’d somehow disappointed him.

“No, I don’t ask out every woman I train. Not even close. It’s been a long time since I’ve asked anyone out. And believe me, Sarah, I’m looking at you—and I like what I see. A lot. You’ve got an air of innocence about you that I find fascinating. You’ve had a tough life, but haven’t let it harden you. I respect you, and I . . . I’d like to get to know you better.”

She bit her lip and took a deep breath, but didn’t immediately protest, so he went on. “I have a feeling simply being around you will make me a better person.”

Sarah shook her head. “Don’t do that. Don’t put me on a pedestal. I’m not some paragon walking around sprinkling glitter throughout the world.”

Cole laughed. Threw his head back and laughed as if she’d said the funniest thing he’d ever heard.

Sarah tugged on her hand again, somewhat offended, but he still refused to let go.

When he got himself under control, he said, “I know you’re not perfect. You’re too trusting. You see the good in everyone, even when there isn’t any there. You probably neglect your own health in order to do something good for someone else.”

“You make me sound like an idiot,” Sarah grumbled, despite being secretly kind of flattered.

“You’re not an idiot. You’re refreshing. And I’m not. I’ve got more than my share of flaws that I’m sure you’ll discover sooner rather than later. But as I said, if you let me get to know you, go out on a few dates with me, I’m hoping you’ll find that you like me back . . . just a little.”

Sarah frowned. “I already like you, Cole, but I don’t understand you. You don’t know anything about me. I could totally be lying to you right now, and you just bought my lies hook, line, and sinker.”

He smiled again. “You’re not lying.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I’m an expert at reading body language. I’ve been around some bad people in my life, angel. You are who you say you are. What you see is what you get.”

Sarah licked her lips nervously, and his gaze immediately followed the movement.

Cole persisted. “Say you’ll go out with me, Sarah.”

“I thought I was here to figure out how to defend myself.”

“You are. And we’ll get to that. Agreeing to go out with me in no way affects whether or not I’ll teach you some basic moves that will allow you to get away from someone and get to safety.”

“But if I say no, things could get weird.”

“Then say yes,” Cole cajoled. “I swear you’ve got nothing to fear from me. I’ll even get references if that will make you feel safer.”

“It’s not that. I think I feel safer with you than anyone I’ve ever been around . . .” She hesitated.

“But?”

“I’m afraid once you get to know me, you’ll decide I’m annoying. Too much work or something. I work odd hours, weird shifts. And I looked you up online. I know about your friend and what happened to her. And about the Andersons. The last thing I want is my stalker getting upset when he sees us together—because he will—and taking out any anger on you and your friends.”

“Breathe, angel. Take a breath. Nothing is going to happen to them.”

“You can’t control people, Cole,” Sarah pressed. “They’re unpredictable.”

“Fine. Then we’ll meet with Logan, Blake, Nathan, and Ryder, and make sure they know everything about this Owen guy. We’ll let them investigate and figure out what will make him back off. In the meantime, we’ll hang out at my place. Or here. Or your house. We won’t shove our relationship down Owen’s throat. We’ll be discreet. How’s that sound?”

Sarah could only gape at him. “How’d we go from me wanting some tips on protecting myself to having Ace Security investigating Owen and you and me hanging out at each other’s houses?”

He smiled at her again, but didn’t answer her question.

She took a deep breath and gave him the only answer she could. “Okay.”

He beamed. “Okay,” he said quietly. Then he finally let go of her hand and stood, before immediately reaching the same hand down to her again. “Time for your first lesson.”

Automatically, she reached up and let him help her off the floor. She wasn’t sure what she was expecting. A kiss to seal the deal. A hug. A discussion about when and where their first date would be. But so far, Cole hadn’t done anything the way she expected him to.

“First lesson for today will be how to get a guy to let go of your hand if he’s been holding on too long and you’re uncomfortable.”

Sarah knew he was referring to her feeble attempts to pull her hand out of his, and blushed. But he was right, this was something she should know. It would come in handy at the hospital too, just in case one of the patients or family members got a little too familiar, as they’d done in the past.

Concentrating on his instruction, she did her best to put her nerves about dating Cole behind her.

*****

Author Info:

Susan Stoker is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Claiming Felicity, Claiming Bailey, Claiming Grace, and Claiming Alexis in the Ace Security series. A lover of alpha heroes, Susan is also the author of the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, and Delta Force Heroes series. Married to a retired Army noncommissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri and California to Colorado and Texas—and currently lives under the big skies of Tennessee. She is a true believer in happily ever after and enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her at www.stokeraces.com.

Website: http://www.stokeraces.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Susan_Stoker

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8247140.Susan_Stoker

*****

Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card and Digital Copy of Susan Stoker’s CLAIMING SARAH

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/07c2363f244/

*****

Spotlight – The Wonder of Now

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I’m so excited for today’s guest post!  Jamie Beck is one of the best contemporary authors out there.

*****

Author Jamie Beck Urges Readers to Focus on the Wonder of Now

Throughout my career, I’ve loved the challenge of redeeming a character that might be hard to like, much less love. In Peyton, the heroine from The Wonder of Now, I took on a particular challenge, because most of my readers are women, and most women don’t forgive a friend who betrays them for a man. This setup made redeeming Peyton a singular challenge and begs two questions: who is Peyton, and why should you care about what happens to her?

Peyton Prescott is part of a legendary literary family owing to her great-grandfather’s prolific career as a celebrated novelist. The casual observer would say she’s grown up in a mansion by the sea and enjoyed every privilege (wealth, beauty, wit). But life in Arcadia House wasn’t as picture-perfect as her family would have the public believe, and emotionally distant parents didn’t exactly model warmth or instill a sense of deep love and acceptance. She spent her twenties living out of suitcases and blogging about her travels, then had the misfortune of falling for her childhood friend’s boyfriend, who dumped that friend for Peyton…until she got diagnosed with breast cancer, at which point he dumped her, too.

Facing her mortality alone forced her to take a hard look at her life and her choices, spurring a sincere desire to become a better person, and to make amends with the friend she betrayed. Although she gets diagnosed in the first book in this series, and begins to make amends in the second, this final book is when all the threads come together. She and her famed-photographer brother recorded her journey from diagnosis through her final surgeries, collaborating on a memoir that is about to release (the proceeds of which will be donated to cancer research). Of course, at this point in time she’s more interested in moving on with her life than with reliving the experience with cancer and sharing those intimacies in public forums. Her attitude puts her in direct opposition to the publicist, Mitch, who is counting on her becoming his fledgling company’s big hit.

Despite Peyton’s flaws, of which she is well-aware, she also has strengths that draw people to her. She’s self-deprecating, witty, brave, beautiful, and empathetic. She now also has a heightened appreciation for living in the moment and not taking any day for granted—something the goal-oriented Mitch must learn to do. Although he has very good reasons for being disciplined and focused on his ambitions, he is instantly drawn to her energetic spirit and zest for life.

I confess that I struggled while writing this book, but it ended up becoming my favorite to date. Not just because I loved rising to the challenge I’d set up, but also because Peyton’s musings, fears, and hopes go to the heart of what connects us all, and because I think I gave her the perfect man to help her complete her much-needed personal growth arc. But you can be the judge!

*****

The Wonder of Now

Sanctuary Sound #3

by Jamie Beck

Release Date: September 10, 2019

Publisher: Montlake

Blurb:

Peyton Prescott would give anything for the carefree life she knew before breast cancer changed everything. But instead of using her second chance to move forward, she’s stuck promoting the memoir her brother convinced her to write, thus reliving the very battle she wants to forget. If she hopes her European book tour will allow her to enjoy revisiting her favorite travel-writing destinations, she’s wrong: her PR whiz is too consumed with his own goals to consider her needs.

Mitch Mathis has relied on discipline to achieve his goals, and with his new firm’s success riding on Peyton’s book launch, he must keep her on task. They’re here for business, not pleasure. And Mitch won’t let unbridled desire harm his professional reputation—not again.

When frustrated expectations and attraction throw the tour into chaos, it challenges everything Mitch and Peyton believe about themselves, life, and love, forcing these opposites to consider whether they can embrace the change they need to grow.

*****

Excerpt:

The writer from the Barcelona Review swaggered in and sat down. Medium height, trim, with coal-black hair worn a bit shaggy. The guy’s eyes lit up when he got his first good look at Peyton’s smile, making Mitch’s gut tighten.

“Hello, Miss Prescott. I’m Javier Molina, but friends call me Javi.” He reached across the table to shake her hand.

“Nice to meet you, Javi. Please call me Peyton.”

The little knot in Mitch’s stomach screwed tighter when he thought she was flirting. She’s only smiling, stupid.

Javi set up his phone recorder and then slouched back, feet planted wide apart on the ground, pen in hand. That cocky bastard was trying to intimidate Peyton with his domineering position. “First, let me say I enjoyed the book, although I suspect some of the caustic humor was meant to keep us at a distance.”

“Not exactly,” she muttered.

Javi hesitated but would be disappointed if he expected his silence would force her to elaborate. Mitch had watched her operate with interviewers in Rome. She’d make an excellent trial witness, answering only those questions asked—nothing more or less. Even this spare utterance seemed to have slipped through her fortress wall.

Javi prodded again. “In certain cases, the photographs are more raw than the narrative, although they blend seamlessly together. All but the cover photo, which has no explanation or accompanying exposition. It’s a spectacular, harsh image . . . Can you tell our readers what was going through your mind when it was taken?”

“You mean aside from ‘I’m going to kill you, Logan’?” She chuckled, buying herself a precious moment to compose her thoughts, Mitch guessed.

Meanwhile, Javi raised his index finger with a sly nod, as if she’d proved the point he’d made a moment ago about her defense mechanism. Rather than venture another attempt to flirt his way past Peyton’s defenses, Javi simply stared at her this time, waiting for a real answer.

Her gaze drifted, eyes cloudy. If she’d wanted to discuss whatever happened at the time of that photo, she would’ve put it in the memoir.

Mitch loosened his fist and wiggled his fingers. She needed to do this for herself, and it might be easier on her if he left the room. It would certainly be easier on him not to listen to the story behind the photo that had captivated yet haunted him for weeks.

He wrestled with his internal debate until she sighed.

Without looking at Javi, she picked up the pen and began doodling on the pad in front of her while she spoke. “Forty-five minutes before Logan shot that photo, I’d used the magic mouthwash to help with my mouth ulcers. After the waiting period, I went to the kitchen to get some water. It was predawn, so I’d assumed Logan was sleeping. I took a few sips and then wandered to the living room window. Outside, the street was already coming to life, all shadows and movement and secrets. Garbage men emptying bins, night-shift workers heading home, a stray woman dashing toward the subway on an obvious walk of shame . . . ordinary people living their lives. Probably worrying about the electric bill, or looking forward to a sporting event, or maybe daydreaming about a new love. Things that had once occupied my thoughts but, in that moment, meant less than nothing to me.”

When she paused, Mitch stole a look at her notepad. Daisies?

Her expression shifted to something self-deprecating. “And yet I envied them and those small worries . . . envied their health. Their nonchalance about another new day. I was so separated from it all—and not only by the glass. I swallowed a scream because I knew they, like me before my diagnosis, were taking everything for granted. I watched them, resentment festering because I might not exist long enough to even see those people months later. Worse, they’d never know. Life everywhere would go on without me, and very, very few people would care. Just like that”—she snapped her fingers—“it hit me that my whole life never mattered much. No spouse. No children. No impressive legacy from my Globejotter days. What, of value, had I done with my time?”

The room remained silent while she resumed her doodling. “I don’t know what woke Logan. All I remember is that I turned when I heard the camera click, and then he kept snapping.” She finally looked at Javi and tapped the book jacket with the back end of her pen. “That was his favorite of the bunch.”

Javi straightened his posture while finishing his notes. Peyton shot Mitch a quick glance punctuated by a half shrug. What a strange, intriguing woman. Drawing flowers while relaying her existential crisis to a total stranger.

Mitch offered a sharp nod of approval when what he wanted was to gather her in his arms like a bouquet of delicate flowers and tell her that he would care very much if she didn’t exist tomorrow or the next day or the one after.

*****

Author Info:

National bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than two million copies. She’s a Booksellers’ Best Award and National Readers’ Choice Award finalist, and critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing, the author of the Cabot novels, the Sterling Canyon novels, and the St. James series enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

Fans can learn more about her on her website, www.jamiebeck.com, which includes a fun “Extras” page with photos, videos, and playlists. She also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks.

Website: http://jamiebeck.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writerjamiebeck

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8020971.Jamie_Beck

*****

Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card and Digital Copy of Jamie Beck’s THE WONDER OF NOW

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/07c2363f243/

*****

Spotlight – The Deception

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Today I’m so excited to have Kat Martin talking about her newest book in the Maximum Security series!

*****

WHY I LOVE WRITING ROMANCE

From birth to death, romance is part of everyone’s lives, a mother’s love for her newborn baby, a son or daughter’s love for a parent, or love for the person who shares your life.

Falling in love is the part that intrigues me.  I love giving my characters obstacles that reveal their strengths and weaknesses, everything from murder and mayhem to running for their lives.  The obstacles they face form the plots of my stories.  The way the characters overcome them shows their strengths and weaknesses and eventually is what draws the two of them together.

In my latest Romantic Thriller, THE DECEPTION, book two of my Maximum Security series, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she learns her sister has been murdered.  Determined to find Chrissy’s killer, Kate hires lethal bounty hunter, Hawk Maddox.  Working together, they follow a trail of clues that lead them deep into the city’s underbelly.  Though Hawk warns her of the danger, nothing he says can convince Kate to walk away.

The best part of writing a romantic thriller is that the reader can be sure the perils the couple faces will be worth it.  By the last page of the book, the hero and heroine are going to find the forever kind of love and get the happy ending they deserve.

I hope you will watch for THE DECEPTION, and that if you haven’t read THE CONSPIRACY, you’ll look for it, too.

Till then very best wishes and happy reading, Kat

*****

The Deception

Maximum Security series

by Kat Martin

Blurb:

When missing turns to murdered, one woman’s search for answers will take her to a place she never wanted to go…

After searching for her sister for two long years, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she’s called to the morgue to identify Chrissy’s body, the runaway teen the victim of a brutal attack. Guilt and grief send Kate into a tailspin. She failed Chrissy once…she won’t do it again. Even if finding her sister’s killer means following a lethal bounty hunter into the heart of darkness, placing both their lives in danger.

Working at Maximum Security has taken Jason Maddox down some dangerous paths, but never for a client he’s so drawn to, or for a case so monstrous. As clues lead them deeper into the city’s underbelly, connections to human trafficking draw them closer and closer to peril, but even Jase’s warnings can’t convince Kate to walk away. As the deadly operation puts a target on their backs, they’ll have to decide what matters most: the truth…or their lives.

AMAZON

Kindle https://www.amazon.com/Deception-Maximum-Security-Book-ebook/dp/B07N42GTRB

Hardcover https://www.amazon.com/Deception-Maximum-Security-Kat-Martin/dp/1335007695

Barnes & Noble

Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deception-dwayne-t-martin/1125448252?ean=9781488054327#/

Hardcover https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deception-dwayne-t-martin/1125448252?ean=9781335007698#/

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-deception-25

GOOGLE

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kat_Martin_The_Deception?id=ATaFDwAAQBAJ

ITUNES

https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-deception/id1450623296

INDIEBOUND

Hardcover https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335007698

*****

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW

THE DECEPTION

https://www.publishersweekly.com/9781335007698

Martin revs the power from page one of this fast-paced romantic thriller, the second novel in her Maximum Security series (after The Conspiracy). After Kate Gallagher’s runaway younger sister, Chrissy, is murdered, she’s determined to find the killer, no matter what it takes. Bounty hunter Jason “Hawk” Maddox, a former Marine, doesn’t do relationships, but he’s quite willing to dance with Kate and start nudging her toward his bed; then she blurts out that her sister was killed. When Kate hires Hawk’s employer, Maximum Security, to investigate the murder, Martin immediately begins leading her well-drawn characters through a high-octane plot with hair-raising twists and turns, skillfully dragging red herrings everywhere. A subplot about a terrified, trafficked 13-year-old crackles with undeniable energy, as does the hot romance between Kate and Hawk. Even Martin’s most despicable characters (especially pedophile Denny Rayburg) are complex, adding to readers’ emotional investment. Fans of romantic suspense won’t be able to put this book down until the final page is turned, and Martin is likely to recruit thriller readers as well as romance fans with this snappy story. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM. (Sept.)

*****

Excerpt:

Dallas, Texas

“I’m sorry, Ms. Gallagher.  I know this is terribly painful, but unless there’s someone else who can make a positive identification–“

Kate shook her head.  “No.  There’s no one else.”

“All right then, if you will please follow me.”  The medical examiner, Dr. Jerome Maxwell, a man in his fifties with thick black hair threaded with gray, started down the hall, but Kate stopped him with a hand on his arm.

“Are you…are you completely sure it’s my sister?  The victim is definitely Christina Gallagher?”

“There was a fingerprint match to your missing sister.  I’m sorry.  We’ll still need your confirmation.”

Kate’s stomach rolled.  Her hand trembled as she followed the doctor down a narrow, endless hallway in the Dallas County morgue.  The echo of her high heels on the stark gray linoleum sent a sweep of nausea through her.

The doctor paused outside a half glass door.  “I warn you, this is going to be difficult.  Are you sure there isn’t someone you can call, someone else who could make the identification?”

Kate’s throat tightened.  “My father’s remarried and living in New York.  He hasn’t seen Chrissy in years.”

“And your mother?” the doctor asked kindly.

“She died of a heart attack a year after Chrissy ran away.”  For Madeleine Gallagher, losing both her husband and her daughter had simply been too much.

The doctor straightened his square black glasses.  “Are you ready?”

“I’ll never be ready to see my sister’s murdered body, Dr. Maxwell.  But I’m all Chrissy has, so let’s get it over with.”

The doctor opened the door and they walked out of a hallway that seemed overly warm into a room that was icy cold.  A shiver rushed over Kate’s skin and her heart beat faster.  As Dr. Maxwell moved toward a rollout table in front of a wall of cold-storage boxes, Kate could see the outline of a body beneath the stark white sheet.

Emotion tightened her chest.  This was her baby sister, only sixteen the last time Kate had seen her two years ago, before she had run away.

The doctor nodded to a female assistant in a white lab coat standing next to the table, and the woman pulled back the sheet.

“Dear God.”  The bile rose in Kate’s throat.  She swayed and the doctor caught her arm to steady her.

“Is this your sister, Christina Gallagher?”

Tears welled and slipped down her cheeks.  “It’s…it’s her.”

“I’m sorry for your loss,” the doctor said.

“Thank…thank you.”  Tears blurred her vision and her head swam as she walked out of the building into the sunlight and crossed the parking lot to her car.  She wouldn’t be returning to her office today.  She needed time to grieve.

Kate slid in behind the wheel and shoved her key into the ignition.  Fresh pain struck so hard she couldn’t breathe.  Instead of starting the engine, Kate put her head down on the steering wheel and started to weep.

 

Jason Hawkins Maddox sat at the old fashioned long bar in the Sagebrush Saloon, a country western hangout with a juke box in the corner for dancing.  Tonight he was there on business, meeting an informant he hoped would give him a lead on the fugitive he was hunting, Randall Darren Harding.

Harding, a cement contractor, had been arrested for the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend.  He’d been out on bail when he’d decided to flee instead of standing trial, where most likely he would have been convicted.

From what Jase could find out, Harding was a rotten, self-centered, mean-tempered bastard, the kind who could wind up killing again.  He’d strangled his girlfriend in a fit of rage, but a fancy lawyer had gotten him out on bail.

The reward for catching him was a fat fifteen percent of his million and a half dollar bond.  Jase planned to collect.

Thus his meeting with Tommy Dieter at the Sagebrush Saloon.

It was relatively early, a little after nine p.m., but the place was already more than half full.  The décor was rustic, with a sea of wooden tables.  A big dance floor dominated the interior, the juke belting Willie Nelson for the couples that were

In the mirror in the carved oak back bar across from him, he could see himself on a bar stool next to a little guy in a blue Texas Rangers baseball cap.  The little guy made Jase look even bigger than his six-foot four-inch, two hundred twenty pound frame.

So far Tommy hadn’t showed, but he wasn’t due for at least another hour.  In the meantime, Jase was enjoying the local scenery, his attention fixed on the tall blonde with the pretty face, sexy curves, and amazing cleavage, but then half the guys in the bar were watching her.

In a short jeans skirt, a pair of cowboy boots, and a bright pink tank top, she had danced five times in a row.  If he weren’t there on business, he might ask her for a turn around the floor himself.  Jase watched the blonde dancing with a lanky biker too short for her, too skinny, and a few years too young.

She wasn’t meant for the boy biker, but she was just Jase’s type, luscious, with legs that went on forever.  And as she slid her arms around the boy biker’s neck and he pulled her close, clearly uninhibited.  It didn’t take much to imagine the way she’d feel moving beneath him.

He picked up his beer and took a drink.  He’d been watching her all evening.  The good news was, she’d been watching him, too.

When the song came to an end, she left the boy biker and walked right up to him, the heels on her boots pushing her closer to his height.

She smiled.  “You like to dance, cowboy?”

“Depends.”

“On what?  The song?”

“Who I’m dancing with.”

A dark blond eyebrow went up.  “Is that right…”

“That’s right, darlin’, and you’ll do just fine.”  Without waiting for a reply, Jase swept her onto the dance floor.  She felt good in his arms, fit him just right.  She was a good dancer, but so was he.  He was a Texan.  He’d done all the usual things a Texas boy did.  Played football, drank beer down on the river, rode horses, and two-stepped.

“What’s your name?” he asked as he whirled her around the floor

“Kate.”  She smiled.  “You’re Hawk.”  Her smile widened into a grin that etched a dimple into her cheek and he felt a jolt of heat.  “I like it,”  she said.  “It’s sexy.”

“You think so?”  As the song came to an end, he drew her off the dance floor into the shadows, took a chance she wouldn’t slap his face, and kissed her.

She softened against him and kissed him back, and he took it a little deeper, felt the rush hit his system.  Since they were standing in a bar full of people, he didn’t let it go too far.

Kate ran a finger along his jaw.  “You looked like you’d be a good kisser and you are,” she said.

“We can go outside and I’ll show you just how good I can be, but it’s gotta be up to you.”

Something flickered in her big brown eyes and for a moment  her bright smile faded.  “I need that tonight.  Just this once, just to help me forget.”  Her bottom lip trembled an instant before her saucy grin returned.  “Come on, cowboy, let’s go.”

*****

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.

Book Review – Today

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I am SO loving this series.

*****

Today

Single Dads #2

by RJ Scott

Blurb:

When the world labels a man and judges them blindly, is it possible to ever find love?

Firefighter Eric is on the front line, battling the threat of nature’s destruction in the California grasslands alongside his CalFire team. Focused and calm, even in the direst of situations, he has a strong affection for his fire truck, loves his career, and has best friends he can rely on. All he needs now is love, but that seems to be impossible to find. At his friend’s wedding. Eric falls in lust at first sight with the shy, slim and sexy Brady, even if Brady isn’t the type of guy he usually goes for. What Eric longs for is an equal in his bed, not a smaller guy who might want Eric to role-play big strong firefighter every time they have sex. He wants to find someone he can be vulnerable with, someone who will love him for his soft heart and quiet ways.

Brady’s life plans grind to a halt when his niece and nephew lose their parents in a tragic accident, and he becomes a dad overnight. His Developmental Coordination Disorder rules his life, but he fights both DCD and the fears that chase him every day, to give Maddie and Lucas a home. Agreeing to go to a friend’s wedding is a decision he regrets long before he even gets there. But, he refuses to give in to his fear, even if he might do something that makes him a target for people’s comments and laughter. Meeting Eric, a huge man with a gentle voice and a flair for chivalry, he falls hard. Now, if only he can let himself get past his panic that Eric would never want someone like him, then maybe he could fall in love for real.

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Za5aB6

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2L3ak86

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/TodayRJS

Book #1 – Single (read my review here) available now – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

*****

Review:

I always perk up when I see a new book by RJ Scott and she delivers once again. Each of these guys is so different, with their own unique problems that readers can get behind.

I love that big, strong Eric doesn’t always want to be the one in charge.  A guy of his size, with his job, looking the way he does … you can easily see why people who want to be “rescued” are drawn to him.  His instant attraction to Brady sends up some red flags but the pull is too strong to resist.

With Brady’s issues you can easily see why he steers well clear of anyone like Eric.  He’s not helpless and it’s hard to have people always wanting to take care of you.  Since everything about Eric screams white knight, he’s definitely not interested.  Luckily, Eric isn’t good at being ignored.

Not in the mood for a lot of drama, I enjoyed the fact that there was little angst here.  Once Eric gets Brady to let him in a bit, things progress pretty easily.  There are bumps, especially with Eric’s job and Brady’s reluctance to do anything outside of his house, but they are small ones.  All about the sweetness and feels, Today winds its way smoothly from a meet-cute to a warm & fuzzy HEA.

*****

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Email RJ rj@rjscott.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Instagram | Pinterest

*****

Giveaway:

$10 Amazon Gift Card

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3e0e9a43672/

*****

Spotlight – How to Love a Duke in Ten Days

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There’s something about the approach of Fall that puts me in a corset sort of mood … weird, I know!  But that makes me even more excited to have Kerrigan Byrne today to answer a few questions and share her newest book.

*****

Q: What inspired you to write How to Love a Duke in Ten Days?

A:  I’ve always been one of those women who have enjoyed fierce female friendships. I think that soulmates, even for heterosexual women, can be just as necessary with other women as with men, and a real hero must not just love and respect you, but also your tribe. I wanted to write a series where historical heroines could truly have it all, education, dreams, businesses, wealth, genius, revenge, hot sex, AND true love. Where the sacrifices were made on their behalf instead by them, and where their heroes learn to lift them up in all ways, heal their pains, calm their fears, become their best friends, and protect them with what I hope is a great balance between alpha hotness and progressive sensitivity.

Q: Is there one thing you would like readers to take away from this story?

A: That’s tough because I packed a lot in there! I would say the one thing from this book, specifically, is that happiness is attainable against the odds, even when overcoming the worst that people can do to one another. Even though I’m a grown up and a cynic, I still like to write books that remind me that true love conquers all, because that love can come from so many people.

Q: Can you describe your typical day writing this book?

A: This book was especially difficult for me to write, so I spent a great deal of time in my bathrobe. I would get up, my fantastic husband would make me coffee, I’d call my critique partner and we’d do a bit of brainstorming, and I’d write and rewrite for hours, stress, cry, throw things, walk the dog, eat, snack, eat some more, facebook way too much, and then finish under word count, binge a tv show or a book until I stared at the ceiling into the wee hours. Oh, and there was drinking in there at regular intervals.

Glamorous, I know!

Q: Describe the hero and heroine of How to Love a Duke in Ten Days in three words each.

A: The Duke of Redmayne:       Wary. Wounded. Wicked.

Lady Alexandra Lane:          Brave. Brilliant. Beautiful.

Q: What is the one thing that the heroine, Alexandra, can’t live without?

A: She cannot live without her two dearest friends in the entire world, Miss Cecelia Teague, and Lady Francesca Cavendish. They literally buried a body for her, and would defend her to the death.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write in How to Love a Duke in Ten Days? Your favorite?

A: As with many (most) of my novels, the prologues are the hardest to write, and read, I suspect. Usually I take the characters to the very edge of their breaking point, often times pushing them over so they have what seems like insurmountable conflicts to overcome both internally and externally. So, for this book, Alexandra’s assault was the most difficult thing to get through, and boy did I enjoy being able to help Piers put her back together, because he was just the perfect hero for her. Tender, empathetic, a good sense of humor, and a large dose of protective alphaness.

Q: Why do you write historical romance?

A:  I’ve always romanticized the past. I can’t help it. I love the pace and the aesthetic, the gowns and the suits and the manners and the manors. I love to do historical research and it’s so fun to see how much we are influenced by the past and how, even though so much has changed through the centuries, people really haven’t. Also, it’s fun to play with language, mystery, and sex in a time when a scandal was still possible. *wink.

Q: Is there another particular author that inspires you or that you enjoy reading?

A: There is a LIST! I would say in historical romance, though, it’s always always Lisa Kleypas. She has a grasp on the characterization of historical folks that I can never hope to attain. I’m just in awe of her every word.

Q: Where do you go or what resources do you use to make sure your novels are historically correct?

A: I love to find books about a time period at B&N or my local bookshops. I go to Harper’s Bazaar for fashion, and a slew of Victorian references for the time period. I do read blogs and sometimes consult with historians and experts.

Q: Did you learn anything surprising while researching for this novel?

A: Many things! I learned how truly difficult it was to attain an education as a woman as little as a hundred years ago. It’s really incredible how far we’ve come in a century.

Q: What do you do when faced with writer’s block, if you ever are?

A: Oh man. I often am. I usually try to shake it loose with a brainstorming conversation with a few friends I have who always seem to be able to unstick me. I rely heavily on the creativity of others as well as my own.

Q: How did you feel the first time you realized one of your books was a big success?

A: I didn’t believe it. It seems surreal every time I truly realize that a story I wrote entertained another human. Let alone more than one. I’m like… they paid to read it? WHAT?

Q: What’s next for the Devil You Know series?

A: I’m especially excited for the next book ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED because it’s about Alexandra’s best friend the curvy vicar’s daughter, Cecelia Teague. She inherits London’s most infamous and successful brothel, and one imposing, surly Scottish enemy along with it. She and Lord Ramsay, the Lord Chief Justice with an axe to grind against her establishment, can’t be in a room together without the sparks flying. I can’t think about this book without smiling.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: I hope you enjoy this trio of roguish redheads as much as I enjoyed writing them!

*****

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days

by Kerrigan Byrne

Blurb:

These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250243270

*****

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890
Ten years later

     Alexander,

     Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne. I’m in danger. I need you.

          —Frank

Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from London to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.

The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Francesca, who tended to give more than the appropriate amount of context. The terse, vague note Alexandra now held was more of a warning than the message contained therein.

The second, she could no longer afford a first-class, private railcar, and had, for the last several tense hours, been forced to share her vestibule face-to-face with a rough- featured, stocky man with shoulders made for labor.

Alone.

He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her correspondence. By now, however, they were both painfully aware she needn’t take four stops to read two letters.

It was terribly rude, she knew. Her carpetbag remained clutched in her fist the entire time, except when her hand would wander into its depths to palm the tiny pistol she always carried. The sounds of the other passengers in ad- joining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.

But she knew they would hear her scream, and that provided some relief.

For a woman who’d spent a great deal of the last ten years in the company of men, she’d thought these painful moments would have relented by now.

Alas, she’d become a mistress of manipulating a situation so, even if she had to endure the company of men without a female companion, there would be more than one man. In the circles she tended to frequent, people behaved when in company.

It had worked thus far.

Alexandra braced herself against the slowing of the train, breathing a silent prayer of relief that they’d finally arrived. She’d been terrified that if she’d glanced up once, she’d be forced into conversation with her unwanted companion.

Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflicting documents in her hands. One, a wedding invitation. The other, Francesca’s alarming note.

A month past, she’d have wagered her entire inheritance against Francesca Cavendish’s being the first of the Red Rogues to capitulate to the bonds of matrimony.

A month past, she’d assumed she’d had an inheritance to wager.

Their little society had seemed destined to live up to the promise they’d once made as young, disenchanted girls to never marry.

Until the invitation to an engagement masquerade— given by the Duke of Redmayne—had arrived the same day of her friend’s cryptic and startling note.

The invitation had been equally as ambiguous, stating that the future duchess of Redmayne would be unveiled, as it were, at the ball. Included in Alexandra’s particular envelope was a request for her to attend as a bridesmaid.

The subsequent plea for help from Francesca—Frank— had arrived in a tiny envelope with the Red Rogue seal they’d commissioned some years prior.

Alexandra hadn’t even known Francesca had returned from her romps about the Continent. Last she’d heard, the countess had been in Morocco, doing reconnaissance of some sort. Nothing in her letters had mentioned a suitor. Not a serious one, in any case. Certainly not a duke.

Francesca had a talent for mischief and a tendency to interpret danger as mere adventure.

So, what could possibly frighten her fearless friend?

Marriage, obviously, Alexandra thought with a smirk.

A risky venture, to be sure.

From How to Love a Duke in Ten Days. Copyright © 2019 by Kerrigan Byrne and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

*****

Author Info:

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

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

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

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Stay up to date with Kerrigan by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/33VpuF0

https://www.kerriganbyrne.com/

*****

Spotlight – The Aussie Next Door

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Hmmm … I think it is time to move a little further South 🙂

*****

The Aussie Next Door

by Stefanie London

Blurb:

American Angie Donovan has never wanted much. When you grow up getting bounced from foster home to foster home, you learn not to become attached to anything, anyone, or any place. But it only took her two days to fall in love with Australia. With her visa clock ticking, surely she can fall in love with an Australian—and get hitched—in two months. Especially if he’s as hot and funny as her next-door neighbor…

Jace Walters has never wanted much––except a bathroom he didn’t have to share. The last cookie all to himself. And solitude. But when you grow up in a family of seven, you can kiss those things goodbye. He’s finally living alone and working on his syndicated comic strip in privacy. Sure, his American neighbor is distractingly sexy and annoyingly nosy, but she’ll be gone in a few months…

Except now she’s determined to find her perfect match by checking out every eligible male in the town, and her choices are even more distracting. So why does it suddenly feel like he—and his obnoxious tight-knit family, and even these two wayward dogs—could be exactly what she needs?

Download your copy today!

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

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

Nook: http://bit.ly/TheAussieNextDoorSLBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/TheAussieNextDoorSLKobo

Apple Books: http://bit.ly/TheAussieNextDoorSLAB

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/TheAussieNextDoorSLGR

*****

Excerpt:

Judging by the way Angie was talking to Elijah, smiling sweetly and toying with the end of her ponytail, she was definitely “vibing,” as Chloe put it. An ugly, foreign feeling surged up inside Jace that made him feel the exact same way as when he’d watched his brother flirting with her.

Turn around and walk away. It’s none of your damn business.

But before Jace fully thought through the consequences of his actions, he was crossing the road with Truffle leading the way. As soon as the little white dog caught sight of Angie, his tail started going a million miles a minute.

Stop. You’re not going to get involved. Don’t be a hypocrite. Other people in this town meddle and you hate it.

It was true. He came from a family of meddlers, and it drove him nuts. But maybe there was some meddling-specific chromosome that had been passed on from his parents without his knowledge, remaining dormant all this time and waiting for the right moment to strike.

“Jace.” Angie looked at him with wide eyes, almost like she was a kid with her hand stuck in the cookie jar.

“I was taking Truffle for a walk.” He raked a hand through his hair like he was totally relaxed and going about his day. The truth was, he had no bloody idea what he was doing. “How was yoga?”

“Awesome.” For some reason, Angie’s voice seemed an octave or two higher than normal. “Super great, actually. Excellent.”

Hmm. Three ways of saying the same thing. She did that whenever she was nervous.

“Are you into yoga?” Jace asked Elijah.

“Yeah, man. With all the firewood I have to chop for the pizza oven, my back gets real tight.”

Jace resisted the urge to roll his eyes. How did he manage to say shit like that without coming off like a total douchecanoe?

“But I could always use some tutoring.” Elijah shot Angie a flirty look, and her cheeks turned the prettiest shade of pink. “Any opportunity to expand my skills.”

“I’m sure Chloe could help with that,” Jace said stiffly.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Truffle sniffing around Elijah’s leg. He’d done the same thing to the coffee table earlier that morning—inspecting his target. Jace really should put a stop to it…

“I wasn’t talking about Chloe,” Elijah said, his eyes still trained on Angie.

Angie laughed and gingerly stuck her hand in the air. “I volunteer as tribute.”

Jace forgot the dog and stared at her hard. Was this one of those gray-area things he’d never understand, or did Angie really like this guy? He had no freaking clue.

Just then, Truffle jumped up on his hind legs, hooking his front paws around Elijah’s calf. His hips started to hinge back and forth, and Elijah glanced down, a what the hell do I do now expression on his face as he and Angie looked down at Sir Hump-a-Lot.

“What the hell?” Elijah stumbled back, and Truffle dropped down to the ground, looking mightily miffed that his sexy times were interrupted.

“Truffle!” Angie snort-laughed. “So inappropriate.”

“It’s a dominance thing,” Jace said to Elijah. “He tends to do that whenever he thinks he can overpower someone.”

Angie shot Jace a raised brow, but she squatted to give the dog a scratch behind the ears before he could figure out exactly what she was thinking. Was the comment too much? He’d blurted it out without thinking, and Elijah seemed off his game now.

*****

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance with humour, heat and heart. Also llamas.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia Stefanie now lives in Toronto, Canada with her wonderful husband. She loves to read, collect lipsticks, watch zombie movies, and drink coffee.

Her bestselling book, Pretend It’s Love, is a 2016 Romantic Book of the Year finalist with the Romance Writers of Australia.

Sign up for Stefanie’s newsletter and get a copy of A Kiss in Kite Harbour: http://stefanie-london.com/

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2Vo8JBv

Website: https://stefanie-london.com/

Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2DYVVHb

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/StefanieLondonAuthor/

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2DYXBjX

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/StefanieLondon

*****

Book Review – Kiss Me Not

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I just love a best friend’s sibling book … I just can’t resist one!

*****

Kiss Me Not

Kiss Me #1

by Emma Hart

Blurb:

What do you do when you’re the reigning kissing booth champion but the only person you want to kiss is your best friend’s brother?

Let me make this clear right here, right now: I, Halley Dawson, do not care that Preston Wright is kissing other women.

Not a lick. Not at all. Nuh-uh-freakin’-uh.

I do care that he’s doing it six feet away from me behind a gaudy velvet curtain—making him my competition in this year’s kissing contest.

Why do I care, you ask? Because I’ve had an unfortunate crush on the insufferable idiot since I was sixteen years old, but I also know it’s never going to happen.

He’s the Creek Falls bachelor to die for, and I’m the Creek Falls racoon lady who puts peanut butter sandwiches out for them every night.

I’m not going to let him break my four-year-long reign—no matter how many times he breaks the rules and slides the curtain across to do the one thing he’s not allowed to:

Kiss me.

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2wq22jD

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2VZW8QH

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

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

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

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2XkZiA5

*****

Excerpt:

“I never answered your question.”

“What question?” I darted my eyes to the side.

“Just now. You asked me if I wanted to kiss you.”

I did, didn’t I? Right. “Oh,” was all I said.

Slowly, he moved his hand to my chin and gently lifted it. Still, I didn’t look at him, keeping my eyes firmly trained on the front of the tent, even though I was facing him.

“Halley.”

“Yeah?”

“I want to kiss you.”

My eyes darted to his.

“I thought that’d do it.” His lips twitched, and he lowered his head until I had to fight the urge to close my eyes in anticipation of the kiss that was coming.

I swallowed, my lips parting.

Preston moved closer.

And he kissed my cheek.

I jerked out of whatever trance I’d just been in. “What the hell?”

He jumped off the stage, grinning. “I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to break the stalemate, won’t we?”

“Oh, hell no!” I jumped off, stalking him to his side of the stage. “You just stood there in front of me and told me you want to kiss me, then kiss my cheek? The hell was that?”

His eyebrows shot up, amusement flashing in his eyes. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you wanted to kiss me, too.”

“Irrelevant,” I shot back. “But you’re a special kind of asshole to tell a girl you wanna kiss her and then not do it.” I turned around, then stopped. “You know what? When I beat you tomorrow, you can kiss my ass.”

“You’re way too mad about this.”

“I’m not mad!” My voice raised a few octaves. “I couldn’t care if you want to kiss me or not. I most certainly don’t want to kiss you.”

“Why are you shouting at me?”

“I’m not—” I was shouting at him. “Whatever,” I said in a normal voice. “Make sure you take that money to the bank. Tell Tish I sent you.”

I left him on his side of the curtain and went to get my purse. He could get fucked. After all that where I think I was so damn nervous I broke a sweat, he didn’t even kiss me.

I wasn’t lying with what I said.

He could kiss my ass.

I’d even wear my good panties and bend over for him.

*****

Review:

I definitely have mixed feelings about this one.  I love sass as much as the next person, but unfortunately I felt like sometimes this moved a bit too much toward b*tch rather than snark.  I really liked Preston though and he was enough to gloss over those areas (although sometimes I wonder why he put up with the women in his life).  I also loved Halley’s relationship with her adorable trash pandas – her love for her raccoons helped me forgive her for some of her more difficult moments.

I do wish, though, that we had gotten more of Preston’s POV.  He’s a upstanding guy, doesn’t sleep around, and decent.  Maybe that’s why we only get a couple of chapters about him and the rest is Halley and her buffet of issues.  Which is fine, but maybe it would have been better to be entirely her POV so I wouldn’t have felt cheated to get just a couple of glimpses of him.  I also wished we had gotten more of Halley’s grandma and Preston’s Aunt Bethel, because I think those hilarious old ladies could have provided a bit a good hearted fun and humor to the story and offset some of the girls mouthiness.

I do have to admire how Hart kept things relatively drama free (except for the smart mouth moments), when she could easily have gone for the drama.  The romance itself is sweet and cute, and handled in a laid-back manner.  Overall, if you are looking for a sarcasm-ladden rom-com, Kiss Me Not delivers well.

*****

Author Info:

Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.

She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs.

Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.

Yes, really. She’s that sarcastic.

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2KVY9Lz

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2Dr0atq

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2Dq42ez

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2EBbZNe

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Website: https://www.emmahart.org/home

*****

Spotlight – Call Her Mine

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I so love a friends-to-lovers story – throw a cute baby in the mix and Foster’s newest is pretty hard to resist!

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Call Her Mine

Harmony Pointe series

by Melissa Foster

Blurb:

Fall in love in Harmony Pointe, where hearts are lost, found, and sometimes misplaced…and everyone get a happy ever after.

If a woman can’t find love in the quaint town of Harmony Pointe, it’s sure to find them—whether they’re looking for it or not. Here, the remaining single Dalton siblings are about to discover that they’re next in line to get swept away by love. A sweet and sexy spin-off of Melissa’s beloved Sugar Lake series.

Ben Dalton has always been honest, except where his heart is concerned. He’s been in love with his best friend—saucy, smart-mouthed Aurelia Stark—forever. But Ben’s a planner, and timing has never been on his side. When he finally decides to make his move, Aurelia beats him to the punch with a move of her own—to a different town.

Aurelia loves her new life in the charming town of Harmony Pointe. She has a great apartment and her very own bookstore, and best of all, the sinfully hot, commitment-phobic friend she’s crushed on for years is no longer just around the corner. Maybe she’ll finally be able to leave her unrequited love behind and move on.

But when a baby is left on Ben’s front porch—a baby that is presumably his—Aurelia is there for him. Neither one knows the first thing about babies, but how hard can it be? Ben and Aurelia are catapulted into a world of love, laughter, and tracking down the baby mama, and it might even add up to a very happily ever after . . . just not one either of them expects.

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Paperback   Audiobook

The Harmony Pointe series is published by Montlake Romance and will be available in paperback and audio formats, and exclusively in digital format for Kindle and Kindle apps. Download a FREE Kindle reading app HERE (or order the paperback)

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Also in the Harmony Pointe Series

This is Love (Harmony Pointe Book 2)

Actress Remi Divine is sick of bodyguards, sick of stalkers, and sick of feeling like she is always under a microscope. But this movie star isn’t helpless by any means. She’s got a rebellious streak and she knows how to use it. First order of business: Getting rid of the overbearing bodyguards who are sticking to her like glue.

Mason Swift has made protecting others his life, and when Remi ditches his two best men, he takes over and gives it everything he has. Having grown up in the foster care system, and as an ex-special operative, he knows all the tricks. Nothing gets by him, especially not gorgeous, sneaky, and rebellious, Remi.

He thinks she’s a diva. She thinks he’s arrogant. But when sparks turn to flames and their walls come down, their hearts are revealed and their connection is unstoppable. But when tragedy strikes, Remi realizes that being protected isn’t the worst thing in the world—but losing Mason just might be.

Releasing 3rd December 2019
Available to pre-order from…
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Paperback   Audiobook

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She Loves Me (Harmony Pointe Book 3)

Fall in love in Harmony Pointe, where hearts are lost, found, and sometimes misplaced…and everyone get a happy ever after.

If a woman can’t find love in the quaint town of Harmony Pointe, it’s sure to find them—whether they’re looking for it or not. Here, the remaining single Dalton siblings are about to discover that they’re next in line to get swept away by love. A sweet and sexy spin-off of Melissa’s beloved Sugar Lake series.

Releasing April 2020

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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    Newsletter

Click to get your FREE Love in Bloom Series Reading Order 

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Giveaway:

Finding My Girl (Love Like Ours Companion Booklet) ebook – 2 winners – Open Worldwide

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Spotlight – Home With You

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I adore unrequited (or are they?) love stories and Cain’s newest looks like just my kind of read.

*****

Home With You

A Rambler Battalion Novel

by Claire Cain

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

I hadn’t seen Major Reese Flint in ten years—not since I was sixteen. Growing up, he was always kind to me despite our age difference and my role as the caretaker’s daughter. Our reunion forced me to see the gorgeous man he’d turned into. Reese was just as shocked by me, but evidently not in a good way since he then resolutely avoided me.

We’re forced back together when Reese’s mother hires me to help him recover from an injury since I still live in the garage apartment above the house I watched for him while he was deployed.

When Reese’s mom asks for more than that, I’m torn between my loyalty to the family who gave me so much during my childhood and my newfound feelings for Reese. Just when Reese stops resisting his interest in me and I have more than I could have hoped for, I discover I’m more at risk of losing everything than I could have imagined.

Grab Your Copy Today:

Amazon | Apple Books | Kobo | B&N

*****

Excerpt:

I groaned as I stood and lumbered into the kitchen where Erin promptly let out a little yelp. She pressed her hands to her heart and took a few deep breaths before laughing hysterically.

Really. She doubled over, her long hair waterfalling to the ground, leaving me to admire the nearly bare expanse of her back but for the two small spaghetti straps of her tank top. When she finally turned upright, her face was red and her green eyes were wet with tears.

“I’m sorry,” I said, chuckling long with her since the sound of laughter was irresistible.

“No, I’m sorry. I—I didn’t expect to see you. I thought you were in bed. And your beard is, like, wow, so I didn’t realize it was you, even though of course it’s you.” She pressed her lips together. “Anyway, I’m sorry for laughing hysterically. It was that, or cry, and I do enough crying so laugh it was.”

“I’ve been sleeping down here so I’m upright. Did you need something?” I asked, and as soon as her face fell, I realized I’d done it again. She set the rag in her hand on the counter and moved to go, but I grabbed her wrist.

“Please. I don’t mean that in a brusque way. I’m not trying to get rid of you. I want to help you find what you need, if you need something,” I said, lowering my voice because whenever she was this close, which was rarely lately, I wanted to say things to only her. I wanted things between us that only we knew about.

She stared down at my hand on her wrist, then back at my face, her chest rising and falling. “I, uh… I came to check and see how the kitchen was. Your mom doesn’t always clean up, so I came to make sure everything was put away so you wouldn’t wake up to a mess.” She looked down like she was embarrassed and gently pulled her arm away.

“That’s very kind of you, Erin.” Her lashes fluttered when I said her name, and I wondered if she preferred her nickname. I’d have to try it out next time.

“Not really. I’m saving myself from more work tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” I asked, stepping closer to her because apparently my body wanted more of her proximity.

“I’ll be here to make you breakfast. I mean, if that’s ok, of course,” she said, red rising to her cheeks.

“I’d like nothing more,” I said, catching her green eyes with mine to make sure she understood my sincerity. I was done fumbling around and failing to communicate with her. I’d bungled things between us enough already, and if my mother had obligated Erin to help me, I wasn’t going to make her feel unwanted.

She returned my stare a moment longer, her eyes moving between mine every few seconds.

And then it happened.

Then the best thing of my week happened.

The month.

Sure, maybe the year. I’d made the promotion list for lieutenant colonel and I was pleased about that, but this? This probably topped that.

Her focus moved from one eye, to the other, and then dipped down and caressed my lips. I kid you not, I could practically feel the brush of her lashes against my mouth.

Then, of course, she jerked away and plastered a smile on her face, bid me goodnight, and excused herself.

But it’d happened.

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Author Info:

Claire Cain lives to eat and drink her way around the globe with her traveling soldier and two kids, but is perhaps even happier hunkered down at home in a pair of sweatpants and slippers using any free moment she has to read and cook. Or talk—she really likes to talk. She has become an expert at packing too many dishes in too few cabinets and making houses into homes from Utah to Germany and many places in between. She’s a proud Army wife and is frankly just really happy to be here.

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Giveaway:

$10 Amazon giftcard & Paperback copy of HOME WITH YOU
2 Paperback copies of HOME WITH YOU

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