* Release Blitz / Review * ONE CHANCE, FANCY by Lani Lynn Vale

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Release Blitz / Review * ONE CHANCE, FANCY by Lani Lynn ValeOne Chance, Fancy by Lani Lynn Vale
Series: The Bear Bottom Guardians MC #5
on January 15, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Benson Bayou Beauregard is the president of the Bear Bottom Guardians MC, and the grandson of the Sergeant at Arms for the Dixie Wardens MC. He’s a mountain of a man and the warden of a prison, and there’s only one thing that can scare him—being told that he’s the father of a three-year-old little girl.

A three-year-old little girl that has no clue who he is. Hell, he only finds out about the little cherub when a woman from child protective services comes by and rocks his world before leaving the girl in his shocked arms.

Every single thing he thinks he knows goes up in a cloud of smoke.

To make matters worse, the woman that he’s been trying to convince to give him a chance takes one look at the little girl and tells him that he’s just not in the right place to handle both of them.

But Bayou was never one to back down from a challenge.

He can handle a three-year-old girl that acts exactly like him, and he can more than take on the fiery red-head that sets flame to his blood while he’s at it.

 

Sweet, touching and steamy-licious! With the next book in the Bear Bottom Guardians MC series, Bayou is front and center. We know him as the quiet but steady friend to all of his MC, a solid leader as president of the club and warden at the prison. We learn more about him personally and where his past led him. There’s really no MC part to this book, but it’s a really great taming of the tough guy with the haunted past sort of story. Really enjoyed it!

Bear Bottom Guardians MC president Benson “Bayou” Beauregard is shocked when a social worker shows up handing him a three year old little girl who his crazy ex never told him about. He’s not sure he’s good enough to be the parent she needs, but it doesn’t take long for the woman he’s got eyes for to set him straight and ease him on the path of being the best Daddy ever.

Phoebe Mackenzie met Bayou when she was fifteen years old, and made a huge impact on his life. She shows up at the prison to apply for a job and gets up close and personal with him again. He doesn’t believe she could possible be interested in someone like him … but little does he know that he’s all she’s ever wanted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benson Bayou Beauregard is the president of the Bear Bottom Guardians MC, and the grandson of the Sergeant at Arms for the Dixie Wardens MC. He’s a mountain of a man and the warden of a prison, and there’s only one thing that can scare him—being told that he’s the father of a three-year-old little girl.

A three-year-old little girl that has no clue who he is. Hell, he only finds out about the little cherub when a woman from child protective services comes by and rocks his world before leaving the girl in his shocked arms.

Every single thing he thinks he knows goes up in a cloud of smoke.

To make matters worse, the woman that he’s been trying to convince to give him a chance takes one look at the little girl and tells him that he’s just not in the right place to handle both of them.

But Bayou was never one to back down from a challenge.

He can handle a three-year-old girl that acts exactly like him, and he can more than take on the fiery red-head that sets flame to his blood while he’s at it.

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Lani Lynn Vale is a USA Today Bestselling Author of over thirty titles. She is married with three children, two dogs, two cats, a donkey, and a couple (a couple also meaning over twenty) chickens.

When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair reading.

Lani is married with three children and lives in the Great State of Texas.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub

 

four-half-stars

* Release Blitz / Excerpt / Review * TRAILS OF LOVE by Melissa Foster

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Release Blitz / Excerpt / Review * TRAILS OF LOVE by Melissa FosterTrails of Love by Melissa Foster
Series: The Bradens and Montgomerys: Pleasant Hill - Oak Falls #3
Published by World Literary Press on January 9, 2019
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

When Graham Braden travels to Oak Falls, Virginia to attend the wedding of his buddy Reed Cross to Grace Montgomery, he sticks around to help with renovations to Reed's new theater. The last thing he expects is to be asked to assess and possibly invest in Grace's sister Morgyn's business endeavor. Graham is a careful, keen businessman, and Morgyn is impulsive, disorganized, and more interested in the energy flow in her eclectic retail shop than in the accuracy of her records. While Graham isn't ready to open his pockets to the sassy, sexy business owner, he may be ready to open his heart.

 

Cute, feisty and sexy as all get out! With the next book in the Bradens and Montgomerys series, we get Graham and Morgyn’s story. As always, the characters were adorable together and quick to pull me into their story. I felt like the story wasn’t as well developed as a typical Melissa Foster book though. While we went through a little strife with them, it was only a dash of an after thought and then all plowed ahead. Two huge families came into play to fill in the space, but the overall couple needed more development. Still loved reading it though!

When Graham Braden passes through a local festival while he’s heading to Oak Falls, Virginia for his buddy Reed’s wedding, he never expects to meet a woman who knocks him for a loop at first sight. He can’t resist temptation and she’s a hard woman to walk away from. Come to find out, she’s Reed’s new sister-in-law and one of the reason’s Reed wanted him to stick around and give some opinions on the theater remodel.

Free spirit Morgyn Montgomery can’t believe she met a man at the festival. He’s more than she ever dreamed of and if she believed in marriage, she might propose on the spot! She has some big business decisions to make, and Graham has the knowledge to give her some advise, but he usually steers clear of mixing business with pleasure … but for her, he might break all of his rules!

 

 

 

 

 

Trails of Love
The Bradens and Montgomerys
Melissa Foster
Releasing January 9th, 2019
World Literary Press

 

 

Blurb:

When Graham Braden travels to Oak Falls, Virginia to attend the wedding of his buddy Reed Cross to Grace Montgomery, he sticks around to help with renovations to Reed’s new theater. The last thing he expects is to be asked to assess and possibly invest in Grace’s sister Morgyn’s business endeavor. Graham is a careful, keen businessman, and Morgyn is impulsive, disorganized, and more interested in the energy flow in her eclectic retail shop than in the accuracy of her records. While Graham isn’t ready to open his pockets to the sassy, sexy business owner, he may be ready to open his heart.

 

Goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43394418-trails-of-love

 

Goodreads series link:

https://www.goodreads.com/series/151180-the-bradens-montgomerys-pleasant-hill—oak-falls

 

Buy Links:

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➜APPLE: https://apple.co/2FU6RoA
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➜PAPERBACK: http://smarturl.it/TOL__Pb

 

 

Excerpt

“What are your three most favorite things?” Morgyn asked as she strummed the guitar.
“That’s a hard one.”
“Okay, and the next two?” She bumped him with her shoulder, looking as sweet as she did sexy wearing one of his flannel shirts over her dress.
He loved her quirky sense of humor.
“Shouldn’t that be one of your favorite things?” he teased.
She shifted her gaze up toward the sky and strummed a faster tune, singing, “It’s your turn, not mine.”
“I’ve got a lot of favorite things.” He ran his fingers along her leg. “Your sexy legs.”
Her eyes darkened, and she played a little slower.
“And the way flecks of darker blue glitter in your eyes when you get turned on.”
“Cracker,” she said just above a whisper.
“I can’t help it that you’re beautiful.”
“Stop. You’re embarrassing me. Tell me something real.”
“That was real, and number three would be your free spirit.”
“Says Mr. Prepared, who brought a pop-up shower stall, a battery-operated heater, and a Coleman stove like my grandfather used. I’m willing to bet there’s a kitchen sink around here somewhere.”
“No sink, but I can rig one up if you need it.” He leaned in for a kiss, lingering because her kisses were unlike any others. She kissed with the same energy she seemed to do everything else, giving herself over to it completely, savoring every second.
Her eyes remained closed for a few heated seconds after their lips parted. When she opened them, a sated smile appeared like a gift. He wondered if she kissed other guys like that, or if she felt the same unfamiliar, unstoppable connection he did.
“I like kissing you, sunshine.” He brushed her hair behind her ear and kissed her again, slower and sweeter than the last. “I’m adding that to my list. I think I need more than three things.”

 

 

Author Info
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance 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 lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

Author Links:
Website:  http://www.melissafoster.com/
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/MelissaFosterAuthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Melissa_Foster
GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3023973.Melissa_Foster
Newsletter: http://melissafoster.com/newsletter/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/melissa-foster
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melissafoster_author/

 

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four-stars

* Blog Tour / Review / Excerpt * TALL, DARK AND TEMPTING by Erika Wilde

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Blog Tour / Review / Excerpt * TALL, DARK AND TEMPTING by Erika WildeTall, Dark and Tempting by Erika Wilde
Series: Tall, Dark and Sexy #3
on December 11, 2018
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Dylan Stone and Serena Fields have been best of friends their entire lives. For Dylan, she's the solid, dependable woman in his life. His person. The one who has been there for him through the best and worst of times and doesn't see him for the millions he has in the bank. And even though he's been secretly attracted to her for years, there are some lines that best friends don't cross—even if he does spend most of their time together entertaining dirty thoughts about her that have no business being in his head.

Serena has been in love with Dylan Stone for as long as she can remember, but she's searching for her happily-ever-after and that's not her best friend's thing. Unfortunately, her dating life is one disaster after another, yet Dylan is always there with a pint of her favorite ice cream and a listening ear after each and every disappointing encounter.

It's the perfect arrangement, until one night changes everything.

 

Fast-paced, steamy and delightful! Dylan and Serena are really easy to connect with right from the start in this story. He’s supporting her as she hunts for Mr. Right, all the while enjoying the scenery along the way. She’s tired of all of the frogs she’s having to kiss on the way towards her Prince. The characters were believable and fairly well developed, and the story line in general was pretty spot on. I felt like the ending was a bit rushed though and we could have used a little more development of their unfolding relationship together. Overall a very enjoyable read!

Dylan Stone has adored Serena for as long as he can remember. She’s been his best friend since way back when they were just kids, and she’s been there through thick and thin. He supports her through this journey of life, and wants her to find her happily ever after more than anything, but it doesn’t stop him from secretly lusting after her body on a regular basis!

Serena Fields wants forever. Love, marriage, kids … the whole nine yards. She’s been in love with Dylan for so long she can’t remember not loving him, but he doesn’t want the same things that she does out of life, so she keeps trudging along one rotten date after another searching for “the one”. One unexpected night changes everything between them, and it’s time to get their heads out of the sand once and for all and decide what exactly they are going to be to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

TDT- BT BANNER.jpg

 

TALL, DARK AND TEMPTING, an all-new fun and flirty standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Erika Wilde is available now!

 

TEMPTING_WEB_

 

Dylan Stone and Serena Fields have been best of friends their entire lives. For Dylan, she’s the solid, dependable woman in his life. His person. The one who has been there for him through the best and worst of times and doesn’t see him for the millions he has in the bank. And even though he’s been secretly attracted to her for years, there are some lines that best friends don’t cross—even if he does spend most of their time together entertaining dirty thoughts about her that have no business being in his head.

Serena has been in love with Dylan Stone for as long as she can remember, but she’s searching for her happily-ever-after and that’s not her best friend’s thing. Unfortunately, her dating life is one disaster after another, yet Dylan is always there with a pint of her favorite ice cream and a listening ear after each and every disappointing encounter.

It’s the perfect arrangement, until one night changes everything.

 

TDT - AN

Download your copy today!

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

 

Excerpt:

Standing in the back of the elevator, Serena’s warmth and scent wreaked havoc on Dylan’s senses with every breath he took. He was still on edge from her rubbing up against him on the dance floor, and it didn’t help matters that her backside was inches away from finding out just how hot and bothered she’d managed to make him. He was so excruciatingly hard his dick throbbed for relief, which sadly it wasn’t going to get tonight, and he shifted his stance so his erection didn’t end up prodding Serena’s ass.

It seemed to take forever until they reached their floor, and they quietly walked down the hall toward their separate junior suites, which were located directly across from each other, with him and Eric on one side, and her and Chelsea on the other.

She retrieved her key card from the small purse she’d worn with the strap across her body so she didn’t have to hold the bag. He started to tell her good night as she waved the plastic card in front of the lock mechanism, but the faint sounds he heard coming from inside her room—unmistakable moaning, groaning, sex noises—had him blurting out, “Don’t open the door!” right as she pushed inside.

She sucked in a startled breath and froze as she belatedly realized what she’d just walked in on—their friends getting laid. With each other. Half-dressed, Eric was sitting on the couch in the living room area, with Chelsea straddling his lap, her dress hiked up to the tops of her thighs as they kissed and groped and moaned in pleasure, oblivious to the fact that they had an audience. Jesus, out of courtesy, the least they could have done was hang the do-not-disturb sign on the door.

“Oh, crap,” Dylan heard Serena rasp. Clearly flustered, she spun around, and in her haste to get out of the room, she slammed right into him as the door shut behind her.

The unexpected impact had her wobbling on her heels, and his hands automatically shot out to grab her arms, then hauled her close to keep her steady on her feet.

Big fucking mistake. Not only because her sweet, firm breasts were crushed against his chest and her body plastered to his, but the big, round eyes staring up at him in shock had nothing to do with what they’d just witnessed and everything to do with the stiff length of his erection tenting his pants that was now pressing insistently against her belly.

“Oh my God, are you turned on because you just saw . . .”

Her words trailed off, but he knew what, or whom, she was referring to. The easy answer was to say yes, even if it did make him look like a pervert, but the frustration he’d been dealing with all night was at its tipping point and overrode common sense.

“No, it’s because of you, Serena,” he said through gritted teeth, the filter on his words having gone AWOL. “I’ve been hard as a rock since you wiggled your ass against my dick out on the dance floor. I’m a man, you’re gorgeous and hot as hell, so yeah, I fucking want you.”

Time stood still as the truth spilled out of him, his heart racing in his chest at what he’d just revealed. Serena’s lips parted, her features etched at first with disbelief, then quickly shifting to hope and elation, then on to something more daring and courageous.

“It’s now or never,” he heard her whisper right before she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulled his head down to hers, and kissed him . . . not like a friend, but a sinfully sexy lover.

This couldn’t happen. Stop her, his brain shouted as their mouths merged and her tongue touched his bottom lip enticingly . . . but the accumulation of desire he’d harbored for his best friend for so many years finally crashed through every bit of self-discipline he had left, which wasn’t much at this point.

He was helpless to resist her, and he suddenly no longer wanted to.

 

Meet Erika Wilde

Erika Wilde is a New York Times Bestselling author. She is best known for her super sexy Marriage Diaries series and The Players Club series, and has also co-written the Dirty Sexy Series and the Book Boyfriend Series with Carly Phillips, her best friend and writing buddy for the past twenty years. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters, and when she’s not writing you can find her exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For more information on her upcoming releases, please visit website at www.erikawilde.com and sign up for her mailing list for updates and news!

Connect with Erika:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2OLvHe9

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https://www.erikawilde.com

four-stars

* Blog Tour / Review / Excerpt * THE RENEGADE by Jennifer Bernard

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Blog Tour / Review / Excerpt * THE RENEGADE by Jennifer BernardThe Renegade by Jennifer Bernard
Series: The Rockwell Legacy #3
on December 4, 2018
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

The last thing she expected was a billionaire under the mistletoe …

As a trauma surgeon, Isabelle Rockwell has devoted her life to helping others. Her life is too crazy for romance…despite a powerful attraction to a stranger during an unexpected layover in Italy. But there’s no time to obsess over the mystery man. Recurring dreams of her mother are calling her home to the family lodge, where a surprise guest is staying for the holidays—who else but her airport hottie!

Battling a takeover, billionaire Lyle Guero has been asked by his board of directors to lay low. What better place than Rocky Peak Lodge, his latest silent investment, home to the woman who’s haunted his thoughts since Rome? Independent, fascinating, equally career-focused, she’s the perfect temporary distraction.

But he didn’t count on the holiday spirit, the zany Rockwell family, or the danger lurking in the snowy shadows of the Cascades. How far will two renegade hearts go for a chance at love?

 

A homecoming, a bit of mystery, and the last man she ever expected to see again! With the next book in The Rockwell Legacy, we see the lodge renovation making progress, get updates on the two couples we’ve loved in previous books and begin Isabelle’s journey to love. I enjoy this family and series very much overall, but found this particular book to be lackluster. Her back story wasn’t built up nearly as well as her brother’s had been in their earlier stories, and the connection between she and Lyle just fell a little flat for my taste. Still enjoyed the story, just not my favorite in the series. Looking forward to more to come!

Doctor Isabelle Rockwell is finally making the journey home after working with Doctor’s Without Borders in faraway places. She’s torn about her journey. She enjoys the work she gets to do for people who really need it, but she misses her family and a recurring dream about her mother finally has her unable to stay away any longer. She needs to know what’s pulling her home once and for all … but she never expects to see a familiar face when she gets there!

Billionaire Lyle Guero is having a takeover crisis at his company and lying low while things get ironed out, so what better place to visit than his latest project? He’s the silent investor that  is enabling Rocky Peak Lodge to be returned to it’s old glory again, so he’s excited to get to see how it’s coming along, and get a feel for what the lodge will feel like when it’s open and thriving once again. He doesn’t know Izzy will be there, but he’s thrilled to get to reconnect with the woman who caught his eye when they were stranded together in Rome overnight!

 

 

 

 

Today we’re celebrating the release of THE RENEGADE by Jennifer Bernard. Check it out and grab your copy now!

Title: THE RENEGADE
Series: The Rockwell Legacy
Author: Jennifer Bernard
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release: December 4, 2018

About THE RENEGADE

The last thing she expected was a billionaire under the mistletoe …

As a trauma surgeon, Isabelle Rockwell has devoted her life to helping others. Her life is too crazy for romance…despite a powerful attraction to a stranger during an unexpected layover in Italy. But there’s no time to obsess over the mystery man. Recurring dreams of her mother are calling her home to the family lodge, where a surprise guest is staying for the holidays—who else but her airport hottie!

Battling a takeover, billionaire Lyle Guero has been asked by his board of directors to lay low. What better place than Rocky Peak Lodge, his latest silent investment, home to the woman who’s haunted his thoughts since Rome? Independent, fascinating, equally career-focused, she’s the perfect temporary distraction.

But he didn’t count on the holiday spirit, the zany Rockwell family, or the danger lurking in the snowy shadows of the Cascades. How far will two renegade hearts go for a chance at love?

Get your copy now!

Amazon | Apple Books | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

 

EXCERPT:

“Do you remember where we left off in Rome?” she murmured, rising up on one elbow. With a light shove, she urged him down onto his back. He wore a zippered hoodie. Bending her head, she used her teeth to unzip it. The hard curves of his chest made the saliva dry up in her mouth.

He was watching her so closely, so carefully.

“I’m pretty sure you were lying down like this,” she whispered. “And I was somewhere right around here.”

She swung one leg over him and shifted into the same straddling position that was burned into her nighttime fantasies leftover from Rome.  

“That does look familiar.” He reached up and ran one finger along the upper edge of her bra. “Different bra, though. The other one was white.”

“That was my favorite travel bra.” She shivered at the prickles racing across her skin. “It’s important to look good in case you get into an accident, you know. Renata always told me that.”

“She was so right. You accidentally ran into me. And you looked good. Still do.” He spread his hand across the skin above her breasts. The breadth of his handspan amazed her. It felt as if every inch of her chest was covered by his warm palm. It was a wonderfully hypnotic sensation. “You always do, to me.”

“Well, see this one is actually my most embarrassing bra. It’s the comfy last resort I wear when I haven’t done laundry lately.” Was that the kind of thing you were supposed to confess to a billionaire? Even a de-billionaired one?

“Doesn’t matter. You still look good to me. Clothes are irrelevant.”

She rolled her eyes slightly. “Men always say that. Then you show up in a skimpy dress and they lose their minds.”

“Hey, I’m pro skimpy dress. I’m also pro comfy bra. I’m also very much pro getting rid of the comfy bra.”

Laughter rose straight up from her heart to her lips, into a smile she couldn’t hide. “I hope you don’t mean permanently.”

“Just for now.” He reached behind her and deftly found the fastener. Then he hit a roadblock, because the catch was broken.

He chuckled as he struggled with the fastener. “Okay, make it permanent. Just how attached are you to this one?”

“Very. It’s mine.”

“Ditch this one. I’ll buy you a new one.”

She put a hand on his chest while he continued to work on it. “Hey. Before we do this, I just want to say one thing. I’m my own person. I decide when it’s time to throw away my bras. Bossing me around in bed is one thing. Once we set foot outside bed, no one bosses me around. Not you, not anyone.”

“It’s just a bra.”

“No, it’s not. It’s a principle.”

He held her gaze, then nodded slowly. “I hear you. I do. And honestly, it’s a great bra. If you love it, I love it. My only problem with it is that I can’t get it off. This bra is a fricking cockblocker. It has it in for me. I’d do better doing ten rounds in a boxing ring.”

She burst out laughing at his absurdity. “I got it. Give me a second.” Instead of messing with the catch, she tugged it over her head and tossed it aside. “Voila.”

“Well damn.” He cupped her breasts, which filled his hands perfectly. Her nipples were already hardening just from the way he looked at her. “Now I know.”

“Now you know.” Her breath was coming fast and her head swam with  anticipation.

“Can we get back to another point you just made? That bit about bossing you around in bed. I liked that.”

Her throat tightened, as if a vise had closed around it. “What I meant was—”

“I know what you meant.” His quiet tone made liquid heat rise in her lower belly. He brushed his thumbs across her nipples. She leaned forward, arching her back, aching with desire. For long moments of excruciating pleasure, he stroked her breasts, cradling them in his palms, shaping them, arousing the erect peaks until she wanted to burst out of her skin.

 

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About Jennifer Bernard

Jennifer Bernard is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books have been called “an irresistible reading experience” full of “quick wit and sizzling love scenes.” A graduate of Harvard and former news promo producer, she left big city life in Los Angeles for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She still hasn’t adjusted to the cold, so most often she can be found cuddling with her laptop and a cup of tea. No stranger to book success, she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name that she’s happy to share with the curious.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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four-stars

* Blog Tour / Review * MY BAD by Lani Lynn Vale

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Blog Tour / Review * MY BAD by Lani Lynn ValeMy Bad by Lani Lynn Vale
Series: The Bear Bottom Guardians MC #4
on December 4, 2018
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Hoax knows two things very well.

One, he’s not relationship material. Two, the nurse that treats him for erectile dysfunction is the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, and practically has ‘the marrying type’ stamped on her forehead.

Does that stop him from wanting her? No.

Unfortunately, he learned a long time ago that Army Delta Force and long-lasting relationships don’t go hand in hand.
But beautiful hazel eyes, curly blonde hair, and the prettiest lips he’s ever seen play havoc with his resolve, making him forget his earlier convictions.

All it takes is one teeny, tiny kiss for every shred of control he has to disappear, along with the problem in his pants.
Soon he finds himself doing things that he knows that he shouldn’t. He doesn’t know that he’s found the woman that’s meant to be his. Nor does he realize that her father is the man he’s idolized from the moment he joined the army at the age of eighteen. Because, maybe if he had, he would’ve tried a little harder to ignore the pull he felt between them instead of making her his the night before he deployed for six months.

He also might’ve tried a little harder not to knock her up.

 

Hot, steamy and oh so fun! Heading back to Bear Bottom, Texas for the next Guardians MC book is always a pleasure! We met Hoax in a previous book, and now it’s time to continue his story. He is an all around good guy and it’s super sexy to see him fall head over heels for Pru. Looking forward to more in the series!

Delta Force operative Hoax Hicks knows the minute that he sees her that she’s going to be his. What he doesn’t know, is that she’s going to change him and make him want to stick around instead of hit it and run like has always been his motto. It’s terrible timing … but he’ll do anything to make it work.

ER nurse Pru Mackenzie feels like she’s been struck by lightening the day she meets Hoax at the hospital. She’s been burned one too many times by a military guy in the past, so there’s no way she’s dating this guy … but he’s hotness personified and way too hard to resist! By the time he ships out again, they’re in love and not afraid to shout it off the rooftops … but will the little surprise he leaves behind change anything?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoax knows two things very well.

One, he’s not relationship material. Two, the nurse that treats him for erectile dysfunction is the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, and practically has ‘the marrying type’ stamped on her forehead.

Does that stop him from wanting her? No.

Unfortunately, he learned a long time ago that Army Delta Force and long-lasting relationships don’t go hand in hand.

But beautiful hazel eyes, curly blonde hair, and the prettiest lips he’s ever seen play havoc with his resolve, making him forget his earlier convictions.

All it takes is one teeny, tiny kiss for every shred of control he has to disappear, along with the problem in his pants.

Soon he finds himself doing things that he knows that he shouldn’t. He doesn’t know that he’s found the woman that’s meant to be his. Nor does he realize that her father is the man he’s idolized from the moment he joined the army at the age of eighteen. Because, maybe if he had, he would’ve tried a little harder to ignore the pull he felt between them instead of making her his the night before he deployed for six months.

He also might’ve tried a little harder not to knock her up.

 

AVAILABLE NOW

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | Apple Books | B&N

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lani Lynn Vale is a USA Today Bestselling Author of over thirty titles. She is married with three children, two dogs, two cats, a donkey, and a couple (a couple also meaning over twenty) chickens.

When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair reading.

Lani is married with three children and lives in the Great State of Texas.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub

 

four-half-stars

* Blog Tour/ Review / Excerpt * SHAMROCK by Janie Crouch

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Blog Tour/ Review / Excerpt * SHAMROCK by Janie CrouchShamrock by Janie Crouch
Series: Linear Tactical #3
Published by Calamity Jane Publishing on December 4, 2018
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Every mission has a price.
He never meant for her to pay it.

Aiden has never left anyone behind. Not a comrade and certainly not an innocent. But when an undercover mission goes wrong, he's forced to abandon a woman trapped in a human trafficking ring.

Violet learned brutally that no one is promised a happy ending. She knows Aiden blames himself for his part, but she refuses to let her abduction define the rest of her life.

She won’t be a victim again. And she’s going after what she wants: Aiden.

Watching Violet transform herself into a fierce warrior is the sexiest thing Aiden has ever seen. The honorable plan would be to stay away from her—let her heal and grow without the shadow of his mistakes clouding her progress—even though every instinct tells him to claim her for his own.

But when they discover the danger they thought they’d left behind is closer than ever, they’ll have to confront their fears and fight side-by-side in order to survive.

 

We are smack dab in the middle of the action from the first word on the page! With the third book in her exciting new Linear Tactical series, Janie Crouch brings us Aiden’s story with SHAMROCK. From the first paragraph, we’re hooked! Lots of action, intrigue even when they think it’s over, and a steamy hot connection between these two people we can’t help but adore. Loved it … my fav in the series so far!

Violet Collingwood has no clue why she’s been kidnapped, but she knows she’s fighting for her life when she meets Aiden. She doesn’t know him from Adam, but he’s the first person to make an effort to help her, so she trusts him and sets her heart on his rescue. Things don’t go exactly as planned, but the memory of his kindness helps her hold on.

Linear Tactical operative Aiden Teague can tell something isn’t right with Violet the second he lays eyes on her, but he’s undercover pretending he’s one of these low lifes and can’t just snatch her up and whisk her away. The plan he has to rescue her goes awry, but nothing can stop his ambition to find her again. When opportunity knocks, he’s all in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Shamrock
A Linear Tactical Standalone
Author: Janie Crouch
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: December 4, 2018

 

Blurb
Every mission has a price.
He never meant for her to pay it.

Aiden has never left anyone behind. Not a comrade and certainly not an innocent. But when an undercover mission goes wrong, he’s forced to abandon a woman trapped in a human trafficking ring.Violet learned brutally that no one is promised a happy ending. She knows Aiden blames himself for his part, but she refuses to let her abduction define the rest of her life. She won’t be a victim again. And she’s going after what she wants: Aiden.

Watching Violet transform herself into a fierce warrior is the sexiest thing Aiden has ever seen. The honorable plan would be to stay away from her–let her heal and grow without the shadow of his mistakes clouding her progress–even though every instinct tells him to claim her for his own.

But when they discover the danger they thought they’d left behind is closer than ever, they’ll have to face their deepest fears and fight side-by-side in order to survive.

 

 

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Excerpt
“We need to get you away from this wall,” Aiden whispered.
“Why?”
“I have a rescue team outside. We just want to make sure you’re safe if things get a little more rowdy than we planned.”
Violet tried to stand but her body had taken too much damage today. Too much trauma. Her muscles just wouldn’t work. “I can’t seem to move. I’m sorry.”
He reached down and scooped her into his arms.
“Wait! I’m too heavy.”
He kissed her forehead, keeping her high against his chest as he crossed the room. “Featherweight.”
The way he moved so quickly with her, so easily, she almost believed him.
He set her gently on the ground behind him, then pressed something on his neck. “Control, Shamrock. We’re on the south wall. You’re clear to breach.”
He helped ease her down so she was sitting low on the floor. Then he crouched in front of her, pulling her head against his chest and wrapping his arms around her.
“What’s going to happen?” she whispered. “Is it going to be loud?”
“Not if everything goes the way we expect it to. But keep your head down just in case.”
His big body was surrounding her on just about every side. Anything that was going to hit her was going to have to go through him first. “What about you? Are you bulletproof or something?”
“My mom always said I had a hard enough head to stop a bullet. Plus I have a Kevlar vest. So we should be okay.”
They sat in silence for a few moments. “Maybe at some point after this we could meet each other when I actually have some clothes on. You know, just to try something different.”
His deep chuckle was enough to almost make her forget the situation. Make her forget her body had been so abused that she couldn’t even make her muscles move at her command. That this man, whose name she wasn’t sure she actually knew, had seen her naked multiple times. “That’s a deal,” he whispered. “And I’m sure Gabe has clothes for you in the van.”
The thought of having to walk, or be carried, naked even in front of the good guys sent ice through her veins. She wanted to ask Aiden to help her, but the man was already shielding her body with his own. What more did she really want?
But she couldn’t be naked again in front of a group of strangers. She couldn’t stand it. Her throat started to close, making breathing impossible.
A finger trailed up and down her cheek. “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to get you out of here. Just hang on for a few more minutes, sweetheart, all right?”
Author Bio

USA TODAY bestselling author Janie Crouch writes what she loves to read: passionate romantic suspense.  She is a winner and/or finalist of multiple romance literary awards including the Golden Quill Award for Best Romantic Suspense, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the RITA© Award by the Romance Writers of America.

Janie recently relocated with her husband and their four teenagers to Germany (due to her husband’s job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years. When she’s not listening to the voices in her head—and even when she is—she enjoys engaging in all sorts of crazy adventures (200-mile relay races; Ironman Triathlons, treks to Mt. Everest Base Camp) traveling, and movies of all kinds.

 

Author Links
five-stars

* Release Blitz / Review * EGGNOG MAKES HER EASY by Erin Nicholas

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Release Blitz / Review * EGGNOG MAKES HER EASY by Erin NicholasEggnog Makes Her Easy by Erin Nicholas
Series: A Boys of the Big Easy Novella
Published by EN Fiction, Inc. on November 30, 2018
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Lindsey is expecting silent nights this holiday. Just her and her boys while her husband serves overseas. But her blue Christmas turns merry when things start rockin’ under the mistletoe thanks to a surprise gift from her naughty Santa.

Which is fine. The nice list is overrated anyway.

 

 

 

 

Short, sweet and oh so sexy! With a mega flirty holiday novella, Erin Nicholas takes us back into her Boys of the Big Easy world to see Lindsey get a holiday surprise she won’t soon forget! We get to catch up with a few of our favorites, enjoy a taste of Lindsey’s life and see more groundwork being laid for Caleb and Lexi’s story. Loved it and looking forward to more to come soon in the series!

Lindsey LaSalle is enjoying a holiday get-together with her friends in the single parent support group but can’t help but be missing her man who isn’t making it home from overseas again this Christmas. But hold on … the party is looking up when a smokin’ hot Santa escorts her to his knee to tell him all about all the naughty things she wants this year!

 

 

 

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Eggnog Makes Her Easy, an all-new Boys of the Big Easy holiday novella from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas is available now!

 

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Lindsey is expecting silent nights this holiday. Just her and her boys while her husband serves overseas. But her blue Christmas turns merry when things start rockin’ under the mistletoe thanks to a surprise gift from her naughty Santa.

Which is fine. The nice list is overrated anyway.

 

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2F2mRsv

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

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Start the Boys of the Big Easy series for FREE with Easy Going!

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

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2PB9C63

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

 

About Erin Nicholas

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.

Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).

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Connect with Erin

Website: http://www.erinnicholas.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErinNicholas

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3155383.Erin_Nicholas

four-half-stars

* Release Day Blitz * SNAP DECISION by Jami Davenport


Snap Decision by Jami Davenport is available now!

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2SagqX2
Apple → https://apple.co/2NVluLj
Nook → http://bit.ly/2PcXPuI
Kobo → http://bit.ly/2EEPBHy

 

ADD TO YOUR TBR → http://bit.ly/2AilRw3

Bad boy quarterback Tyler Harris plays ball for a living and breaks hearts for a hobby.

With two championships in as many years, Tyler is the best quarterback in the league. Gorgeous and rich, he’s at the top of his game. Women love him. Men want to be him. Only Tyler’s not feeling the love. In fact, he’s not feeling anything at all. Licking his wounds after a scandal and a breakup with his long-time girlfriend, he retreats to a run-down mansion on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Once there, Tyler is blindsided by the sassy redhead next door. He knows that he’s met his match and possibly his soulmate. There’s one problem. She despises him.

Lavender Mead has a good reason to dislike jocks, namely an absentee father who deserted the family to coach college football. Maybe that explains her penchant for bad boys — especially those who play ball. Her new neighbor seems just that type. Yet Tyler’s not the shallow superstar she expected, and she’s inexplicably drawn to football’s bad boy. The two are so hot together, they’re combustible.

As the clock ticks down, can they commit to each other forever? Or will they both fall short of the goal at the last minute?


PRAISE FOR JAMI DAVENPORT:

“Within the pages, you will find a heartfelt story line riddled with drama, passion, raw emotion, and of course the good stuff… heat!”–Red’s Romance Reviews

“A very delicious, sports enthusiast romance!! Would definitely read more of this series.”–Shock and Awe Blog

“Jami Davenport makes it hard to sit on the sidelines and not root her characters on.”–I Love Romance

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami’s new releases consistently rank in the top fifty on the sports romance and sports genre lists on Amazon, and she has hit the Amazon top hundred authors list in both contemporary romance and genre fiction multiple times. Jami ranked Number Seven on Kobo’s Top Ten Most Completed Authors, an honor bestowed on the year’s “most engaging” authors based on an average page completion rate by their readers.
Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare.
Jami works in IT for her day job and is a former high school business teacher. She’s a lifetime Seahawks and Mariners fan and is waiting for the day professional hockey comes to Seattle. An avid boater, Jami has spent countless hours in the San Juan Islands, a common setting in her books. In her opinion, it’s the most beautiful place on earth.


Connect with Jami!

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive a free novel and be notified of new releases, special sales, and contests: http://eepurl.com/LpfaL
Website Address: http://www.jamidavenport.com
Twitter Address: @jamidavenport
Facebook Address: http://www.facebook.com/jamidavenport
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jamidavenport/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1637218.Jami_Davenport

* Release Day Launch / Excerpt * DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION by Lori Foster

 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Foster comes DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION, the first in Lori’s sizzling new Road to Love series! Grab your copy today!

 

DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION Synopsis:

When desire gets this hot, you’d better buckle up…

Mary Daniels doesn’t let anything get in the way of her job acquiring rare artifacts for her wealthy boss. But this particular obstacle—huge, hard-muscled, unashamedly masculine—is impossible to ignore. Stuck in a cramped car with Brodie Crewsfor hours en route to their new assignment, Mary feels her carefully crafted persona—and her trademark self-control—is slipping, and she won’t allow it.

Brodie can’t imagine what secret in Mary’s past has left her so buttoned-up, though he’d dearly love to find out. Maybe then she’d trust him enough to explore their explosive chemistry. But he needs this job, so he’ll play by her rules and bide his time…until an enemy determined to outwit them strikes and he needs to get close—in every way—to protect her. Otherwise they could lose much more than a precious collectible. They could lose it all.

 

Order DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION here!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

 

 

EXCERPT:

As he wove them seamlessly through the traffic, off an exit ramp, along a short drive through a commercial area, then back onto the expressway again, Mary had a revelation: everything about Brodie Crews was over the top.

His rugged good looks.

His teasing manner.

His frank way of speaking.

And now, she had to add, his skill at driving. He maneuvered with ease, weaving through traffic without speeding, seeming to find his way in and out of communities instinctively, all the while being completely relaxed.

In fact, if it hadn’t been for seeing his anger at the men who’d approached his car, she would wonder if Brodie Crews took anything seriously.

For the rest of the drive, she helped keep watch but she didn’t spot the SUV again.

Finally, she could relax too. “I think you lost them.”

He shot her a look of comical indignation. “You had doubts?”

Not really. And for some absurd reason, she was proud of him. What would he think if she told him that? He’d probably make a few more jokes, laugh it off, and continue being outrageous.

Belatedly, she answered him. “No.”

“No?”

“I didn’t have any real doubts.”

“Good. Because my guess is that they’ll somehow catch up to us on the way back. I mean, if they’re following, the whole point would be to steal from us whatever your boss bought, right?”

That was always a possibility. There’d been other times where she and a driver were waylaid, the goods stolen, and she’d had to go back to Therman empty-handed.

She would avoid that as best she could. “Yes, it’s possible.”

Cavalier, somewhat cocky, he said, “Hey, don’t sweat it. I’ll make sure we make the delivery, and on time, too.”

Mary appreciated his confidence because it boosted her own—especially as they left the highway for the less traveled roads that would take them to their destination.

Giving up her vigilance, she watched Brodie instead. His relaxed posture belied the alert way he took in his surroundings.

She realized that he knew trouble could happen, but also believed that he could handle it.

Astounding.

She’d never known a man so convincingly capable. She’d call him arrogant, except that he was so big, so powerful and formidably hard all over, it was easy to believe he could handle just about everything that might come their way.

Thinking that warmed her and she slipped off her button-up shirt, leaving her in the thin tank top, her arms exposed to the cooler air-conditioning. That helped, but not enough.

Especially when she knew that Brodie noted her every movement, even though he wasn’t obvious about it.

More heat uncurled from deep inside her, making her breasts feel heavy, her inner thighs tight. It was an un familiar heat, but she recognized it for what it was—base lust.

For Brodie. Insane. Ill-advised.

But apparently unavoidable.

Before she did something stupid, it seemed wise to distract herself by ensuring Brodie understood every possibility. “They could have been following us for another reason.”

“Yeah?” He pulled up to a red light and, after checking the traffic in every direction, turned to look at her. “What’s that?”

Having that dark, direct gaze aimed at her didn’t help to redirect her thoughts. His eyelashes were almost girly, they were so thick and dark, but Brodie was more elementally male than any man she’d ever met.

He quirked a brow. “If we were anywhere else, I’d take that as an invitation.”

As if coming out of a trance, she blinked. “What?”

“The way you’re looking at me?” His voice was deep, a little rough. “That usually means—”

“They may just want to rule out what Therman is getting,” she blurted, cutting him off. Dear God, she had been staring at him like a starving woman.

She almost considered putting her button-up shirt back on, just to make sure he didn’t misunderstand. But maybe that would be even more obvious, displaying her uncertainty in situations like this.

“They?” he asked, his supercilious brow still up.

“The men following us.” She jumped on the topic, hoping to talk past her own embarrassment. She wanted him, really wanted him, and it didn’t make any sense at all. She tried for her confident smile. “There are several collectors who want the same items. Usually whoever is willing to pay the most comes out the victor.”

He grinned. “Sounds like some serious sport.”

“Oh, believe me, collectors take it very seriously.” Needlessly, she checked her hair, smoothed her skirt, and overall squirmed over her own revelations.

She’d been forever without a man. Why now, and why him?

She didn’t have any answers; she only knew that he was off limits. Damn.

 

 

About Lori Foster:

Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. Lori has published through a variety of houses, including Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin, Silhouette, Samhain, and Berkley/Jove. She is currently published with HQN. Visit her online at LoriFoster.com.

 

 

 

 

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* Blog Tour / Review / Excerpt * SEARING NEED by Tracey Devlyn

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Blog Tour / Review / Excerpt * SEARING NEED by Tracey DevlynSearing Need by Tracey Devlyn
Series: Steele Ridge: The Kingstons #3
Published by Steele Ridge LLC on November 9, 2018
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

To escape a brutal killer, a brilliant researcher teams up with a tortured soldier who poses an even greater threat . . . to her heart.

Her sister might be the law and her brothers the brawn, but Riley Kingston is definitely the brains of the family. She's a talented botanist well on her way to a PhD--so why does she feel like a failure? Fired from a dream project in Costa Rica, Riley's stuck back in her hometown. Cataloguing plants on Steele land keeps her busy, but it's far from compelling work. Until she discovers a fascinating new specimen. One with a body made for pleasure . . . and eyes filled with a pain she longs to understand.

Delta Force operator Coen Monroe doesn't want to be studied. Not even by the sexy scientist whose inquisitive glances stir up desires he isn't ready to handle. He came to Steele Ridge to be alone, to battle his nightmares and the memories triggering them. But Riley's gentle seduction is as relentless as her curiosity. She soothes his wounded soul . . . and fires up his defensive instincts. But when her research sparks a deadly conspiracy, Coen is exactly what she needs.

When Riley is targeted by a sociopath bent on silencing her forever, Coen will do anything to protect her. But can he save the woman he loves without losing himself in the process?

 

Danger abounds as we head back to Steele Ridge! With the third book in the Kingston family spin-off, we get cousin Riley’s story. We get a nice glimpse into what’s up with the beloved Steele family as we delve into the extended family a bit more, which is always fun. Riley is the studious Kingston, and she’s a bit down on herself right now and looking for something to pass her time. A manly military man hanging out on Steele land just might fit the bill! I’m torn on this story. I loved seeing the Kingstons and the Steele’s again very much and the aspect of the story that involved them was a joy to read, but the rest came across very stilted. We started out getting the low down on Riley and Coen and then all of a sudden people we had never seen or heard of before were taking over a scene. I wanted more groundwork before being thrust blindly into secondary locations. The intrigue was rushed, and the happily ever after was left up in the air a bit. Overall, I enjoyed getting the next story and parts of the book were interesting, but it wasn’t one of my favorites in the series.

Botanist Riley Kingston is left feeling like a failure when a research mission in Costa Rica that she spent several years on is abruptly ended and she finds herself back home in Steele Ridge. Britt is keeping her busy cataloging plants on Steele land, but she’s hoping something more exciting comes around soon. She might be regretting that wish before she knows it when danger comes knocking!

Delta Force operator Coen Monroe is thankful the opportunity to become one with nature again on Steele land as he works hard to come down from the nightmarish aftermath of a mission gone wrong. He’s in the throes of the worst time of his life, and he’s not really in the mood for a snarky researcher setting her sights on why he’s hanging around, but the more time he’s around Riley, the more he starts to feel a connection with her. When her past comes back to haunt her, he’s the first in line to make sure she’s kept safe … and left hoping for a happily ever after in the end!

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Tracey Devlyn writes contemporary and historical romantic suspense and mainstream thrillers. An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website TraceyDevlyn.com.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About the Book:

Her sister might be the law and her brothers the brawn, but Riley Kingston is definitely the brains of the family. She’s a talented botanist well on her way to a PhD—so why does she feel like a failure? Fired from a dream project in Costa Rica, Riley’s stuck back in her hometown. Cataloguing plants on Steele land keeps her busy, but it’s far from compelling work. Until she discovers a fascinating new specimen. One with a body made for pleasure . . . and eyes filled with a pain she longs to understand.
Delta Force operator Coen Monroe doesn’t want to be studied. Not even by the sexy scientist whose inquisitive glances stir up desires he isn’t ready to handle. He came to Steele Ridge to be alone, to battle his nightmares and the memories triggering them. But Riley’s gentle seduction is as relentless as her curiosity. She soothes his wounded soul . . . and fires up his defensive instincts. But once her research sparks a deadly conspiracy, Coen is exactly what she needs.
When Riley is targeted by a sociopath bent on silencing her forever, Coen will do anything to protect her. But can he save the woman he loves without losing himself in the process?

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT:

An animal’s scream pierced the moist North Carolina air.

As she’d heard all manner of screeches, cries, chirps, ribbits, and howls, Riley Kingston’s radar barely blipped at the minor disturbance. She swiped at a bead of sweat on her nose before entering the GPS coordinates for the precious patch of Panax quinquefolius she’d located.

American ginseng, also known as seng, thrived in shaded, moist, well-drained slopes located across the middle and eastern United States. Many believed the root, resembling a windblown parsnip, cured diabetes, boosted energy, and managed sexual dysfunction, making it a coveted commodity across the globe, especially in Asian cultures.

Kneeling, Riley concentrated as her fingers wended their way between the compound prongs in search of the thick sympodium rising out of the rich black soil. “One, two, three…” She counted each plant with painstaking precision, careful not to miss a single one. In the growing shadows, she relied more on touch than sight.

Although she still had quite a bit of the Steele Conservation Area to survey, she was growing concerned about the scarcity of Panax she’d logged so far.

“Riley, you there?” barked a familiar, staticky voice.

She closed her eyes and drew in a deep, frustrated breath before resuming her counting. “Four, five, six, seven—”

“Riley, it’s Britt.”

No duh.

“Eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve—”

“Answer the damn radio, Riley, or I’m coming out there to find your scrawny ass.”

“Gahrrr!” She dug into one of the many pockets of her field vest. “Can’t a girl get some freaking alone time?” Being a female in the Kingston-Steele family was a royal pain in the butt sometimes.

Walkie-talkie in hand, she asked in her calmest voice, “What can I do for you, boss?”

After her Costa Rican research trip abruptly ended, she’d returned home in utter misery. Noticing her struggle, her cousin Britt offered her a much-needed distraction. A job.

At first she’d refused his offer, unable to bear the possibility of another failure, especially one where her strong, got-it-together cousin was concerned. But Britt’s annoying and persistent texts and the enticement of getting back into the field lured her into acceptance.

“Are you headed back?” Britt asked.

“Not yet. I want to finish this transect first.”

“Look around, Riley.”

“Okay.” She scanned her immediate surroundings. Patches of jewelweed intermingled with sprigs of Solomon’s seal and mayapples on the forest floor. Great canopies of oak, hickory, and maple darkened the landscape above. “Am I searching for anything specific?”

A very male, very big sigh preceded, “Daylight—or lack of it. You need to get out of there before nightfall.”

Riley blinked several times, only now realizing she’d been squinting into the shadows. “Um, right. I’m on my way.”

“Straight back,” he warned. “No distractions.”

“Did you miss the part where I grew up and became an adult?”

“No, but I think you did. Hurry up. Randi’s taking me out to dinner.”

“You don’t have to wait—”

“Chop-chop, Riley.”

The whole alpha-male thing was downright suffocating. So much testosterone surrounded her that it was a wonder she hadn’t grown a set of balls yet.

Clenching her teeth, Riley dropped her walkie-talkie back into her vest and stowed away her handheld GPS unit. With the coordinates marked, she would be able to return tomorrow and finish inventorying Panax.

If she didn’t love Britt so much, she would’ve taken the long way back just to piss him off. But no matter how much she’d like to kick his shins, he’d saved her in ways even she didn’t comprehend when he offered her this job.

Following her internal compass, she set off for where Britt awaited her at the wildlife research center. Rather than retrace her steps, she made a sharp ninety-degree turn, opting for a shortcut. She knew this land better than anyone. Well, maybe not Britt, but she was gaining ground on her cousin.

She’d spent hours traipsing these hills, conducting vegetative surveys and observing Britt’s beloved red wolves. Watching the emergence of a new pack of pups this spring had been amazing. Calypso and Apollo demonstrated as much tolerance of their babies’ antics as Ross and Sandy Kingston showed their five children.

The importance of the survey and the knowledge that Britt trusted her to do a good job went a long way in repairing her battered ego. But lately a restlessness had settled into her bones, scrambling her thoughts and feelings into a million different directions.

She needed… something more.

Another scream arrowed through the trees, sending ice shards down her spine.

“That was no animal.”

Riley sprang forward before her brain could catch up. Ascending a steep rise, she grasped small tree trunks as the toes of her hiking boots dug into the loamy earth.

Once she reached the crest, she spotted a creek cutting along the hollow, creating a shimmering dark ribbon in the gloom. Stands of towering silver-barked beech trees and glossy-leaved rhododendrons fanned out from the rushing water. Not a single bird fussed at her nor did a mosquito buzz at her ear. Every creature in the vicinity held its breath, anticipating.

What?

Another scream, more guttural, more wounded, barreled into her, stripping away her breath and shoving against her heart.

Sweat snaked down her temple as she stalked the ridgeline, searching for the source of so much torment, so much pain.

Time slogged by, though her pulse ticked away each nerve-racking second.

Another scream. No. A man’s roar of anguish and hatred and fear.

This time she caught movement up ahead. She sprinted the short distance, her chest near to bursting with anxiety. Below, a small two-person tent, the color of muddy grass, sat amid a blanket of ferns. The domed structure shook as if it straddled a seismic fault line.

Her instincts urged her to rush down the hill. But her too-stupid-to-live meter was clicking off the charts. What if someone was being attacked? Or murdered? Or…

Riley threw her imagination in neutral and reached for her walkie-talkie.

That’s when the tent’s occupant flung himself out of his shelter and clambered to his feet.

His hair disheveled.

Eyes wild.

And body buck-ass naked.

 

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