I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely hard to concentrate on my writing in the summer. I’d much sooner be outside, in the garden, or lounging under the cherry tree reading all the amazing books on my TBR pile (which is ready to run away and hide, it’s so tall! lol).
I have deadlines I have to meet, but maybe, just maybe, they can wait another day or two. 🙂
How about you? Do you find summer distracting?
Here’s this week’s freebie links- enjoy!
A woman and child in danger teaches Nick life is worth living.
ALL SHE WANTS IS TO LIVE HER LIFE
Abused, Sara Sheridan finds the courage to escape her husband. She has no interest in getting mixed up with another alpha, attitude-laden male. Especially with her ex hot on her trail.
ALL HE CRAVES IS PEACE AND QUIET
Marine, Nick Kelley prefers solitude, away from the memories haunting him. So what is it about his reticent neighbor and her child that tempts him to give it up?
UNTIL LOVE GETS IN THE WAY
Nick and Sara’s growing attraction leads them down a dangerous path as her ex-husband closes in on the new life she’s made for her daughter and threatens to blow it all apart.
“How did you find me?” Sara fell back as Tom pushed his way inside, followed closely by Sam, and then she caught sight of Fiona being led in by two other men. Her friend was cuffed, arms pulled taut behind her back. Her mouth, covered by a bright red handkerchief tied so tight it cut into her whitened cheeks, highlighted an obscene bruise. Her eyes, one of them black and blue, filled with tears, begging Sara to forgive her.
“GPS, my dear, you’ve heard of that I presume? I traced you from your own phone, that wasn’t very smart of you. So, this is where you’ve been hiding.” He waved the others into the room, locking the door behind them. “What, no kiss for your Husband? You do recall you have one of those, don’t you?”
He looked the same, so tall and handsome standing there in his perfectly pressed suit and tie, not a hair out of place. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. It was so obvious to her now. The narrow, cold eyes, the supercilious attitude, the rigid stance, the not-so-well-hidden-anger, had he always been that way? She didn’t like to think so. How could she have been so wrong about him? He’d pulled the wool over her eyes from the beginning.
Let the authors of Summer Heat tempt you with some mouth-watering recipes. Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Pistachios, Decadent French Toast, Marinated Steak, Devil’s Food Cake, Beer-Steamed Mussels, Baked Apple with Custard Sauce, White Chocolate Cherry Scones. These are just a few of the wonderful dishes you’ll find in this unique cookbook. Each is linked to a novella in Summer Heat, a collection of sixteen sexy romances by New York Times, USA Today and other Bestselling Authors. The food is great, and each recipe will whet your appetite for one of the stories in the boxed set by giving you insights into the life of the author’s hero and/or heroine. So enjoy the fabulous food along with the outstanding prose from a seasoned group of authors.
Book Bites offers samples for 9 romance novels and novellas. We hope you will find them not only delicious but also arousing an irresistible craving for more.
So, you ask, what is this boxed set all about?
At no other point is passion put to the test as in dire times of war. From the American Civil War to WWII, from Vietnam to the War in Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf, the stories in this boxed set summon the strength of true lovers.
Written by bestselling, award-winning, and USA Today authors, the novels and novellas in this collection tell of overcoming loss, injuries, and separation, to celebrate the victory of love.
If you like Military Romance, Wounded Warrior Romance, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, or Romantic Suspense, this anthology invites you to triumph over the worst of conditions and find the courage to bring forth the best in us.
The Authors’ Billboard is proud to publish Book Bites 9. Enjoy a sampling —the first chapter or two — of a scintillating peek into the contemporary romances from award winning and NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors from two of our boxed sets: Unforgettable Heroes and Sweet and Sassy.
Can’t figure out which flavor you’d like tonight? Maybe these will fire up your appetite. After all, your Kindle isn’t completely full, right?
These seventeen teasers are for lovers of romance stories of all heat levels. They are available in their complete versions in: UNFORGETTABLE HEROES and SWEET AND SASSY
This project began as a contemporary opposites attract romance, but it soon took on a life of its own and morphed into a fast-paced suspense instead!
Sam Walters has made a deal with the devil.
In order to win a much-needed contract as physical therapist to one of the NHL’s leading hockey teams, Sam must delay the recovery of their sniper, Mac Wanowski. The trouble is, the more she gets to know the taciturn hockey player, the more she aches to help him.
Mac ‘The Hammer’ Wanowski chased the Stanley Cup dream for too many years. Last time he was close it had cost him his wife. As injuries continue to plague the team, Mac works to catch a killer and keep the woman he’s come to love from the hands of a madman.
Hockey can be a dangerous sport, especially when millions of dollars are at stake.
Add to your reading list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43293227-skating-on-thin-ice
Sam lay on the ground at Mac’s back, mewling cries of terror crawling up her throat and blocking any possible clues of their assailant’s location. Someone was freaking shooting at them. Who got up in the morning and decided, I’m going to shoot someone today. Couldn’t he tell they weren’t deer or moose or whatever the hell he was aiming at?
Shaking, she ran trembling fingers over Mac’s torso, praying like she’d never prayed before that he hadn’t been hit. “I’m sorry I knocked you over,” she sobbed. “Please, M… Mac, talk to me. I’m so sc… scared.”
“Shh,” he snarled, throwing a hard glance over his shoulder. His gaze narrowed. “Are you hit?”
Shocked into silence, she dabbed her brow and lowered her hand to stare blankly at the reddish-brown streak staining the threads of her white mitt. “I….” She swallowed hard. “It’s a scratch, I’m fine.” They had bigger problems at the moment.
He considered her for a moment, then gave a short nod. “Probably some dumbass hunter. We’ll stay low for a bit, see if he moves on.” He turned his attention to the trees, searching out the monster in their midst.
Sam ducked her head to make a smaller target. Her cheek brushed the sandpaper-like surface of the snow and she inhaled the crushed pine needles under their bodies. Her mind filled with images of her family; Dad teaching them to fly fish, Kevin racing his tricycle to keep up to her and her friends, Mom encouraging her to go after her dreams. She covered her mouth to hold back the sobs. Would she ever see them again?
When she’d seen that gun pointed their way, her heart stopped. One second, she’d been contemplating the best place to hit Mac with her snowball and the next she’d seen that hunter and instinct had taken over. If he’d been shot… well, he wasn’t. If they got out of this in one piece, she was calling Uncle Thomas to pick them up. A mountain cabin was no place to be during hunting season—unless your name was Davy Crockett.
“I think he’s gone. We should be safe now.” Mac rolled onto his back and winced.
Contrite, Sam laid a hand on his broad chest. “Did I hurt you? I’m sorry.”
He turned his head to meet her gaze. “Who taught you to tackle like that, an old boyfriend?”
She smiled. “My brother, actually. He went to college on a football scholarship.”
“Ahh. Remind me to thank him sometime.” He closed his hand over hers and squeezed. “You’re quite the woman, Samantha Walters.”
Sam melted under the warmth of his regard. “Maybe you can meet him after we get off this mountain.”
He stiffened. “I’m not going anywhere.”
She sat up, oblivious to danger. “Are you nuts? You can’t be serious. What if something happens and you’re up here all by yourself? Who’s going to help you then, you big oaf?” Frustrated, she rose and dusted off her pants, keeping an eye out for any movement in the forest around them.
Maybe because of the gunshots, or maybe it was due to their little squabble, but the cheerful chirping chickadees and raucous squawks of jays had been replaced by an eerie silence. The shadows had lengthened since they’d started out just after lunch, and now stretched long, dark fingers through the broad branches of towering hemlock and fir trees. It all served to reinforce Sam’s decision; she was going back to the city where she belonged—with or without Mr. Tough Guy Wanowski.
“Can you get up on your own?” she asked, reaching for the discarded crutches. When she turned back, it was to see Mac, powerful arms braced, balancing his weight on the palms of his hands. In the next instant, he pushed upward, as smooth as a puma’s pounce, and landed on his feet with barely a wince.
Show off. Still fuming, Sam tossed him his crutches and clumped toward the cabin, wishing she could ditch the awkward snowshoes and sprint to safety. They walked in silence for about ten paces before Mac had to ruin it.
“Are you always this tempestuous?”
The dulcet tone of his voice scraped on her last nerve. “Aren’t you the least concerned? That hunter had a scope, he had to see us.” She stomped her foot, sending a puff of snow into the air.
“I know,” he said, so quietly she stopped to hear him better. He met her gaze and shrugged. “It’s not the first time.”
Fall in love with Addison Cole’s rich and romantic storytelling, and discover the magic of the Montgomerys.
In The Corner of Heartbreak and Forever…
Leaving New York City and returning to her hometown to teach a screenplay writing class seems like just the break Grace Montgomery needs. Until her sisters wake her at four thirty in the morning to watch the hottest guys in town train wild horses and she realizes that escaping her sisters’ drama-filled lives was a lot easier from hundreds of miles away. To make matters worse, she spots the one man she never wanted to see again-ruggedly handsome Reed Cross.
Reed was one of Michigan’s leading historical preservation experts, but on the heels of catching his girlfriend in bed with his business partner, his uncle suffers a heart attack. Reed cuts all ties and returns home to Oak Falls to run his uncle’s business. A chance encounter with Grace, his first love, brings back memories he’s spent years trying to escape.
Grace is bound and determined not to fall under Reed’s spell again-and Reed wants more than another taste of the woman he’s never forgotten. When a midnight party brings them together, passion ignites and old wounds are opened. Grace sets down the ground rules for the next three weeks. No touching, no kissing, and if she has it her way, no breathing, because every breath he takes steals her ability to think. But Reed has other ideas…
The Corner of Heartbreak and Forever is a Sweet with Heat novel and conveys all of the passion you’d expect to find between two people in love without any graphic scenes or harsh language. If you’re looking for a more explicit romance, pick up the steamy edition, Embracing Her Heart, written by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Addison Cole is Melissa’s sweet-romance pen name.
“Grace…” Even after a decade her name tasted sinfully good rolling off his tongue.
Her hand slid from the doorknob, hanging limply by her side. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came. A long moment later, “Reed,” slipped from her lips like the secret he’d once been.
His gut clenched with longing. He couldn’t help but study her—and that angered him as much as it eased the worries about his ability to feel that had plagued him for years. He hadn’t been all in with a woman since Grace, and he’d begun to think he’d exaggerated what he’d felt when they were together. But there was no misreading the heat thrumming through him. She looked incredible, and confused, and as her hand settled on her hip—the hand he remembered all too well digging into his back when they’d made love all those years ago—he realized she also looked angry. Definitely angry.
But still incredible.
In the space of a breath he was fighting the urge to figure out how to spend time with her and recapture the fire between them despite everything she’d put him through.
“Are you done gawking?” she snapped.
“I…Sorry. You caught me off guard. I was expecting to see your parents.” He held her gaze, forcing a smile even though he suddenly felt stuck somewhere between a teenager caught peering through a window, a jealous ex-boyfriend, and a lust-filled man.
She folded her arms over her chest, forcing a barrier between them, and smirked.
At least he hoped it was a smirk rather than a scowl. After the clues he’d missed with his ex-girlfriend, Alina, who had been sleeping with his now ex-business partner, he no longer trusted his instincts where women were concerned. And when it came to Grace Montgomery, he’d never been able to think past the emotions she stirred within him and the future he’d hoped they’d have. She was the tsunami that had obliterated everything else in his world, and as he struggled to find his voice, he fought the urge to tangle his hands in her thick, lustrous hair and remind her of what she’d walked away from.
“I hope you don’t look at my mother like that,” she snapped.
“What? No. C’mon, Grace.” In her eyes he was probably a quintessential jerk, checking her out without any thought to their past. In reality, he’d been taken just as off guard by his leering as she was. “I don’t usually—”
“Don’t usually let your eyes wander?” She scoffed. “Right.”
“Believe it or not, yes,” he said angrily. “Who do you think I’ve become? I didn’t expect you to walk out here at all, much less wearing nearly nothing and…” He tried to figure out what to say next, what to feel…
“Why are you here, Reed?”
He didn’t need this. Not when he had just begun rebuilding his life. After being screwed over by Alina, he’d vowed to stay away from anything that made his head spin, and Grace definitely made his head spin.
He studied her, while trying not to at the same time. The chip on her shoulder was bigger now, overshadowing the sexy smirk on her lips. She’d always exuded confidence, but somehow that, too, seemed more intense. His heart thumped harder with the memory of the first time he’d spotted her standing on the sidelines in her cute cheerleading uniform as he headed out to the football field. She’d challenged him with her glare, as if she were playing on the rival team rather than cheering for them. She’d hated that cheerleading outfit, but man, he’d loved it. And that challenge she’d emitted? He’d taken her up on that in a hot second.
But she’d kicked him to the curb once, he reminded himself. Why was he giving her any consideration at all? He had a job to do, and sure, he’d momentarily lost his footing and checked her out, but it wasn’t like that was a crime. She was hot, and they had history. That’s as far as it goes.
SIGN UP for ADDISON’S Sweet with Heat newsletter. Fun, flirty romance with a dash of heat. www.AddisonCole.com/Newsletter
DOWNLOAD the first book in Addison’s Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series free: READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE here on Amazon.
Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.
Addison is proud to be part of the Main Street Romance family, a partnership with bestselling authors Nancy Naigle, RaeAnne Thayne, and Chris Keniston, bringing sweet happy-ever-after love stories to the Main Street Romance community. Join them at www.MainStreetRomance.com ~ open 24/7 just for you.
Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.
He’s known as Father Anton to his teammates—the brooding, sexy captain of the NHL’s Chicago Blaze has a reputation for…not having a reputation. Just like his diet and sleep routines, celibacy is part of Anton Petrov’s on-ice mojo. Or so they say. Anton stays mum on the subject. If the world thinks he chooses to abstain from sex, so be it. Better that than the truth getting out: there is a woman he burns for, but he can never have her. She’s his teammate’s wife, after all.
Mia Marceau is finally on her own. Now that she and her husband are living apart, she’s finding the peace she was desperate for. She spends her days in classes and late nights bartending, making her own way in the world at last. After what she’s been through, as long as her husband leaves her alone, she doesn’t plan to rock the boat. He still has the power to hurt those dearest to her, and she can’t demand a divorce with such a high cost.
A chance encounter with Mia has Anton hoping for a shot he never thought he’d get. And while she’s drawn to the intense, serious hockey center, Mia’s leery about playing with fire. That’s all Anton has ever known for Mia, though—a living, burning desire that won’t be denied—no matter the cost.
I’m thrilled to be interviewed on artist and friend, Rob Goldstein’s wonderful #blog!
Jacquie Biggar has a wonderful gift for writing hot and extremely likable military men!
This month’s featured blogger is Jacquie Biggar . Jacquie is a writer of romantic suspense novels. She writes tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women. Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband.
When did you start writing?
I wrote a few short stories in middle school that were well received by my teachers and fostered my dream of making it a career one day.
Unfortunately, I set it aside for many years while working and raising a family. I didn’t get serious about writing until 2012. I signed up to Romance Writers of America, took numerous classes to learn my craft and joined a couple of critique groups. One year later, I published my first suspense novel, Tidal Falls.
Did you always have a gift for writing hot guys?
Lol, I don’t know…
View original post 2,218 more words
Who’s the perfect match for a flame-haired Welsh tomboy who loves driving wagons?
Raised by three free-spirited older brothers, Robyn Llewellyn has learned to fight for what she wants—and now she wants to transform her boss and best friend, Max Peregrine, into a lifelong partner. Determined to become the image of what a marriage-minded man wants, Robyn trades her trousers for a dress and heads to Max’s hometown of Noelle, Colorado. But changing who she is with the help of the now happily married Brides of Noelle puts her friendship with Max at risk.
Who’s the perfect match for a work-addicted Denver business owner who loves his independence?
Defying his brother and grandpa’s wishes for him to stay with them in Noelle, Max Peregrine has created his dream job—leading a highly successful branch of Peregrines’ Post and Freight while working beside Robyn, the only person who makes him smile every day. But when she leaves without a word, Max follows her to Noelle where the choices they both must face could make it impossible for them to stay together beyond Christmas day.
Inspired by My Fair Lady, The Gift of the Magi, and the spirit of gift giving, Robyn: A Christmas Bride is a classic Western historical love story set in a small town high in the mountains during Christmas 1877.
Fall in love with a new Old West… where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. You’ll find Wild West scouts, spies, cardsharps, wilderness guides, and trick-riding superstars in my stories. Those are my heroines. Wait till you meet my heroes! My love for historical romance adventures with grit and passion came from watching Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm in northern Canada. I’ve been nominated for over 20 awards and won the RWA® Golden Heart® & the Laramie® — but my best reward is hearing from readers who have enjoyed my stories.
Follow me on Amazon to be the first to hear about new releases.
Visit my website ~ http://www.JacquiNelson.com ~ and subscribe to my newsletter to receive a FREE STORY and be the first to hear about exclusive bonus content.
DO YOU LOVE HISTORICAL WESTERN ROMANCES?
Then why not join historical western romance authors and readers on the Pioneer Hearts Facebook group and share your favorite stories, photos, and all things Old West? http://www.facebook.com/groups/pioneerhearts
Robyn Llewellyn is determined to show her boss and best friend, Max Peregrine, that she would make him the perfect wife. Desperate for results, she heads to Max’s hometown of Noelle, Colorado to seek help from the happily married Brides of Noelle. Will the changes she makes ruin her chances to get Max to see her as more than just a friend?
Max Peregrine enjoys his Denver job at Peregrines’ Post and Freight and can’t understand why his best friend, Robyn, has run away to his hometown just when he needs her most. He follows her to Noelle-and his past-where the stubborn woman leads him on a merry dance. Will Max find a way to let Robyn know he loves her just the way she is?
This is a sweet holiday romance filled with many of the characters we’ve come to love in the small town of Noelle and an important life lesson on the value of loving ourselves as we are.
I give Robyn: A Christmas Bride 5 lovely kisses- an enjoyable tale!
Do you ever look back and wish there were things you could change? I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another.
2018 is a blur for me. I was caught up in the write more/ write faster hampster wheel and took the things that are the most important for granted. I wrote and published six books and participated in twelve box sets and book bites.
I’m so proud of these accomplishments, but they came at a steep cost.
Time to spend with those important in my life. My daughter and grandson, who moved across the country in August. My husband, who works nights and therefore has limited daylight hours awake. My mom, who lives next door. My cat and dog, who would appreciate a little one-on-one time. My overflowing Kindle, filled with stories I’ve yet to read. My garden, that got by mostly by luck and little care last year. My family back home, who I rarely call. My friends, whose lives I’ve lost touch with.
A couple of months ago, I lost a relationship with an online book promoter who I’d considered a friend. Her reasoning: I hadn’t remained in contact with her. This hurt more than probably warranted, but it also served as a wakeup call.
Time is a precious commodity for all of us. We can’t afford to waste it, even if we are chasing our dreams. The cost may be more than you want to pay. One of my critique partners lost her husband not long ago. A friend lost her husband and her father this year, while another had a stroke on Boxing Day. These are all signs telling me life is precious, don’t waste a single moment.
I’m making 2019 my year to slow down.
I’m going to spend less time worrying and more with enjoying life and what a true blessing it is.
Instead of a resolution, I’ve picked a word to live up to: BREATHE
Do you have a word to inspire change?
The story of Grim and Emma Jean continues.
War is on the horizon.
We’ve come so far.
We’ll have to fight for what we have.
Or die trying.
Possession is book two of The Perversion Trilogy
Permission is book three
Perversion is book one
“…incredible. It’s dark, angsty, dangerous and delicious.” – Two Bookish Brits
“It has the authors authentic touch of darkness, but just the right amount of romance to take it downright swoony. T.M. Frazier writes the BEST anti-heroes and I seem to fall in love with each one as they come into my world!” – Elle’s Book Blog
T.M. Frazier never imagined that a single person would ever read a word she wrote when she published her first book in 2013. Now, she is a USA Today bestselling author. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and published all around the world.
T.M. enjoys writing what she calls ‘wrong side of the tracks romance’ with morally corrupt antiheroes and ballsy heroines.
Her books have been described as raw, dark and gritty. Basically, what that means, is while some authors are great at describing a flower as it blooms, T.M. is better at describing it in the final stages of decay.
She loves meeting her readers, but if you see her at an event please don’t pinch her because she’s not ready to wake up from this amazing dream.
Join T.M. in Frazierland! http://www.facebook.com/groups/tmfrazierland
This book knocked my socks off!
Grim and Tricks are back in the gritty, shocking, sensual continuation of the Perversion Trilogy.
When two rival gangs turn up the heat, Tricks (Emma Jean) is caught in the middle and becomes a captive of the Los Meurtos. Their leader, Marco, learns she is a spy and decides to teach her and the Bedlam gang a lesson. But, he’s not working alone.
I won’t give it away, but there’s a surprise twist here I did not see coming!
Grim is going crazy with worry about his girl, Tricks, and his new responsibilities as leader of the Bedlam. When a load of heroin and a murdered body from the Irish mob shows up on his doorstep, he realizes theres an intricate plan afoot to destroy all that he loves.
Then he learns of Tricks’s capture and subsequent torture and the war is on!
The broken don’t need to be put back together, they need to be loved for all their pieces.”
“I’ll give you time, Tricks, but this isn’t over. We aren’t the kind of thing that can just be over. You and me Tricks. We. Don’t. End.”
I’m only equipped for death and destruction.” He smiles and I know he’s wrong because I see nothing but life in his eyes.
Make no mistake, this book is raw, unfiltered, pain. But, it’s also promise, hope, and love.
I want to give it 5 lovely kisses, but there are some serious editing issues that pulled it down to a 4 for me. Still, a must-read!
Have you ever been at the end of your rope, ready to walk away from it all and give the world the big one finger salute?
My week has gone that way. It’s raining cats and dogs and our RV has developed a leak (over our bed!), I had an issue with a book I’m publishing in December, and the glass shower door shattered over my head and shoulders when I was trying to fix it the other night!
Luckily, I only received a couple of nicks and a sore head- it could have been much worse!
But enough of my whining, we’re starting a new week and I want to share a family favourite recipe with you- Lazy Man Cabbage Rolls
When my daughter was born, DH and I decided it was important for me to stay at home with her until she started school. This strained our finances, so I decided to join my mom and grandma at the local Farmers Market to raise extra cash. Problem was, me and crafts don’t get along. Mom has been taking baking in and Grandma had doilies. They suggested I try my hand at a lunch table, and the rest as they say, was history.
I started with soup and sandwiches and gradually added chilli, shepherds pie, stew. Whatever I made at home seemed to sell well at the market, but the most popular dish was my Lazy Man Cabbage Rolls and perogies.
2 pounds med ground beef
2 cups uncooked long grain rice
1 large head green cabbage- chopped
1 med onion- chopped
3 cans cream of tomato soup ( choose a good brand)
Salt and pepper
1 Dutch oven
Preheat oven to 350
In large bowl, mix hamburger, chopped onion, rice, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Using the Dutch oven, place a layer of chopped cabbage in the bottom, then add a layer of hamburger/rice mixture. Continue in this order until ingredients are used, ending with a layer of cabbage on top.
Open two cans of soup and pour into the bowl you used for the hamburger mixture. Add a can and a half of warm water, stir until combined. Gently pour over the cabbage in the Dutch oven.
Place lid, or tin foil if you don’t have a lid, on pot and set in oven for 2.5 hours.
Remove pot from oven, uncover, and spread remaining can of soup over the top.
Return, uncovered, to oven and cook for half an hour longer.
Twenty-four year old Phoebe Hawley is on a quest to find her family a home. On the road with two siblings, twelve year-old Maydean and five year-old Willie-Boy, Phoebe is out of money, out of gas and out of patience. Now the only things she owns in abundance are Hawley backbone and Hawley pride–neither of which she can trade for food or gas.
A collision with Gage Morgan puts Phoebe’s mission in even worse jeopardy–until Phoebe discovers Gage Morgan owns the perfect place for the Hawley clan. But! Gage Morgan has a bruised ego, a tight fist on his land and an iron fist on his heart and is the unlikeliest man in the universe to succumb to her schemes. Phoebe wields all of the pride, backbone and country smarts she owns to claim his home, plow his land and pilfer his heart. Nothing works. With time running against her family, she plies one last inducement—her scarce feminine wiles…Will it be enough?
Visit Jackie: http://jackieweger.com/blog where you can sign up to follow her blog or snag her newsletter.
To enter on-going Giveaways of Amazon Gift Cards and some entertaining books visit: http://www.greatbooksgreatdeals.com/AccentOnRomance
For aspiring and indie authors~visit eNovel Authors at Work ~ A resource for Indie Authors where you will find tips and ehow to help you avoid missteps and master indie authorship: http://enovelauthors.com/
Meanwhile: Enjoy life. Hold close the people you love and don’t forget to read a romance novel now and again.
These characters will grab your heart!
Set in southern USA, the author does a wonderful job of immersing the reader in Phoebe Hawley’s fight to do right by her family. Tasked with finding a home for her parents and handicapped sister, Phoebe drives to the next county with her younger brother and sister, with next to no money and an aging pickup.
A fender bender with a disgruntled, handsome junkyard owner gives Phoebe the opportunity to earn some money to pay him back while setting some aside for her family back home. When she falls for the gruff man she’s been taking advantage of by insinuating her small family into his home, Phoebe comes up with a plan to make him marry her so that her parents can move in, too.
When Gage figures out he’s been tricked, the betrayal runs deep. Will he forgive her and give their love a chance to mend his damaged heart?
Though some of the terminology is dated, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Many parts left me smiling and the happy ending left this romance lover contented.
I give Eye of the Beholder 4 lovely kisses
Discover the magic of New York Times bestseller Melissa Foster’s writing, and see why millions of readers have fallen in love with the Bradens.
A Note From The Author:
Treat Braden and Max Armstrong’s love story is the beginning of my beloved Braden series and introduces you to some of my favorite characters, and to a family that has become so real to me, they’re always by my side. If you are already a fan of the Love in Bloom big-family romance collection, you may have read Treat and Max’s original story, Lovers at Heart. For the past several years, I have had the nagging feeling that there was more to Treat and Max’s story than I had originally thought. One of the greatest things about being a writer is the ability to reimagine worlds and create new stories. I wanted to give Treat and Max a more mature story without losing the essence of who they are. This is Treat and Max’s story, reimagined, and I hope you love it as much as I do.
In LOVERS AT HEART, REIMAGINED…
Treat Braden wasn’t looking for love when Max Armstrong walked into his Nassau resort, but he saw right through the efficient and capable facade she wore like a shield to the sweet, sensual woman beneath. One magnificent evening together sparked an intense connection, and for the first time in his life Treat wanted more than a casual affair. But something caused Max to turn away, and now, after weeks of unanswered phone calls and longing for the one woman he cannot have, Treat is going back to his family’s ranch to try to finally move on.
A chance encounter brings Treat and Max together again, and it turns into a night of intense passion and honesty. When Max reveals her secret, painful past, Treat vows to do everything within his power to win Max’s heart forever—including helping her finally face her demons head-on.
“Hey, Max, look!” Chaz waved across the street to Treat and his beautiful companion. “Treat! Over here. Hey, buddy. How are you?”
Oh no. No, no, no. This could not be happening. Max turned away, frantically running through excuses to hightail it out of there. Sick? Need to go help the crew. Lighting, yeah, that could work. She turned with her excuse at the ready, opening her mouth to speak. Treat’s eyes locked on hers, and her mouth went dry.
“Chaz, Max, how are you?” Treat asked in that deep, sexy voice that made her legs turn to wet noodles.
Chaz said something, but it was all she could do to stare at the woman who had her hand on Treat’s shoulder. She was gorgeous, with a friendly smile. Of course she had a friendly smile. She had Treat! Max hated thegreen-eyed monster clinging to her shoulders. She wasn’t used to it, and she didn’t like the way it made her feel.
“Hi. I’m Savannah.” The woman extended her hand in greeting.
Savannah. What kind of name is that? She must be a model or something with those long legs and slim body. Max looked at Treat in his expensive suit and finely pressed shirt. Then she glanced down at her own less-than-glamorous attire. She absently touched her efficient ponytail, and cringed.
“Hi. I’m Chaz Crew.” He shook Savannah’s hand. “And this is Max Armstrong.”
Max gave Savannah’s hand a quick shake and tried her best to smile, then buried her nose in her planner before the woman—or Treat—could strike up a conversation.
While Chaz and Savannah talked, Treat moved to her side, bringing a wave of the spicy, masculine cologne she smelled in her dreams. “Max. How have you been?”
Too frazzled to face him, she kept her eyes trained on her planner. “Fine, thanks.”
“I’m glad we ran into each other. I’ve been thinking about Nassau.”
Giving me that look wasn’t enough? You needed to flaunt another woman in front of me just to show me what I already know? That you could have anyone you want?
“Max,” he said a little quieter. “I’m sorry for what happened there.”
She wanted to dislike him, to run away and never look back, because that look he’d given her had been too reminiscent of the ex-boyfriend she’d spent years trying to forget. But the sincerity in his voice brought her gaze to his, and Treat was looking at her like he had in Nassau, as if she was all he saw. Memories tumbled in, one after another—their incredible kisses, the feel of his strong arms around her, his sweet whispers in her ear…
Those intimate memories were like an addictive cocktail, and she reveled in their intoxicating sweetness. She should not be thinking about them, or how different things might have been if she had woken up in hisarms the next morning. And he should not be looking at her like that when he was with his ridiculously gorgeous girlfriend.
Unwilling to put herself in a position to be hurt again, and hanging on to that resolve by a thread, Max said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Hurt and confusion rose in his eyes, fraying that thread to near breaking.
“Come on, Treat,” Savannah urged. “Let’s get some coffee and catch up.”
Treat held Max’s gaze a beat too long, and she felt her cheeks flush with desire. She wanted to tell him it was okay—even though it wasn’t—to take his handsome face between her hands, and kiss his luscious lips one more time. Why were her feelings for him so overwhelming? She’d never believed in love at first sight, and certainly not with a man who could be so quick to judge her, but her heart was racing the way it had the first time she’d seen him in Nassau.
“Treat?” Savannah’s eyes darted curiously between Treat and Max.
“Right,” Treat said sharply. “Max, may I call you?”
How can you ask me that with your girlfriend standing right there?
“You have a date with Dad, remember?” Savannah said in a singsong voice.
“Dad?” The word slipped from Max’s lips before she had a chance to stop it.
“Yes. I’m here to visit with my father,” Treat said. “Savannah hijacked me on the way to his ranch.”
There was that look again. Not the one he’d given her, but the way he looked lovingly at Savannah. “Nothing like being hijacked by a beautiful woman,” Max said a little too snarkily. Jealousy was not a pretty thing.
Amusement rose in Treat’s eyes. “She’s beautiful, yes, but she’s also my younger sister.”
Savannah crinkled her nose at him in a cute, sisterly way. “He’s so not my type, all suited up and proper. Hey, Max, why don’t you and Chaz join us for coffee?”
Max was too embarrassed about her misconception and was still struggling with too many emotions to be clear-headed. “I have to be on-site to field any problems that come up, and I have so much to do—”
“Go, Max. You deserve the break,” Chaz urged. “She works like a maniac sunup till sundown. Max, just keep your earpiece on in case there’s an emergency.” He turned to the others and said, “Sorry, guys. I appreciate the offer, but I’ve got to run to a meeting. Max, don’t forget to ask Joey about that sign when you have a chance.”
She watched Chaz walk away and quickly remembered the list of excuses she’d already thought up. “I actually have some lighting issues that I need to attend to.”
“Are you sure?” Savannah arched a brow in her brother’s direction.
“Max, I would be honored if you’d join us.”
The disappointment in Treat’s expression was palpable. She was this close to changing her mind. Every bit of her—especially those naughty parts that she was trying so hard to ignore—screamed, Yes! Yes! Go! But Max was too confused by his showing up and his apology to think straight. “I’m sorry, but I really can’t.”
Treat took her hand and brought it to his lips. She closed her eyes as his lips warmed her skin, bringing another rush of emotions.
“May I call you?” Treat asked again.
Still lost in that single kiss, thinking about what she’d like him to kiss next, Max had to shake her head to pull herself back to the conversation. She tapped her earpiece, hoping to pass off her zoning out as a technical issue. She was acting like those brainless bimbos she hated. Max couldn’t believe Treat was laying it on so thick in front of his sister, but maybe Savannah was used to seeing this side of him. He was a billionaire who owned properties all over the world. He probably treated all single women this way.
If she believed that, why was she tearing a piece of paper from her planner and writing her phone number on it? And why was she staring at his butt as he walked away, hoping he’d call?
I’m in so much trouble.
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa’s fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, and the Wild Boys After Dark. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented.
Melissa also writes sweet and clean romance under the pen name Addison Cole.
Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.
Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website.
Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.
Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…
By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.
Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.
Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.
Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.
From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.
So much more than a love story!
Anne Ashburn fought for recognition most of her life. Her father was a decorated fireman, her brother is Chief Tom Ashburn, and her mother… not who she dreams of emulating.
Anne is the sole female firefighter with the 499 squad and as such feels even more pressure to stand out from the crowd.
When a warehouse fire steals her hand and almost takes her life, Anne has to choose whether to conquer her fears or let them burn her to the ground. She goes into rehab and slowly gets her life back- all except for a not-wise attraction to fellow firefighter Danny-boy McGuire.
Danny fell in love with Anne almost from the first moment he laid eyes on her. He admired her strength and tenacity in a male-dominated world and couldn’t deny the chemistry between them. But, Anne’s career goals and a non-fraternization rule stopped their hotter-than-sin affair. The hardest thing he ever did was cutting her hand off after she was trapped in a warehouse fire that damn near killed them.
Anne knows Danny is fighting his guilt over the loss of her limb, but she has bigger issues to contend with. As a rookie arson inspector, she comes upon a trail of suspicious fires and her investigation is making some powerful people worried.
Will Anne survive to bring an arsonist to justice, or will she become the latest victim?
This is the beginning of a fabulous new brotherhood from J.R. Ward. She has the incredible knack of creating characters readers fall in love with. Danny is the ultimate macho man, wide shoulders, muscular physique, but it’s his inner strength that drew me to him. He’s not perfect, and that only adds to the attraction.
This is one of my favorite lines from the fire:
“You need to go,” she ordered him. “Now.”
Danny stopped talking, his face going still behind his clear shield. And then he removed his oxygen supply. “We die together, then.”
He was every bit as resolved as she was, an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.
Ward, J.R.. Consumed (Firefighters series Book 1) (Kindle Locations 259-261). Gallery Books. Kindle Edition.
But Anne’s story is just as powerful, maybe more-so. She has to overcome a debilitating injury not only physically, but mentally. The author does a superb job of putting us in her shoes.
Good God, she looked like an anime version of herself, assuming her character had gone through a coal mine shaft while being chased by a demon throwing compression bombs at her. Her blue eyes were too wide, and there was soot and ash still in her matted hair and all over her face and neck. The hospital johnny she had on was a mismatch to the fire’s temporary tattooing job, the cheerful pink bouquets on their white background making her seem like a trespasser in some grandmother’s wardrobe.
The initial burst of I-can-triumph-over-this collapsed, a house of cards hit by the cold, hard gust of her reflection.
Ward, J.R.. Consumed (Firefighters series Book 1) (Kindle Locations 657-661). Gallery Books. Kindle Edition.
This book deserves a 10 kiss salute!
Publication date: October 2nd 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Princess Vela’s people are starving.
Stranded on a planet that lacks food, Vela makes the ultimate sacrifice and becomes an Aegis for her people. Accepting a genetic modification that takes sixty years off her life, she can feed her colony via nutrition pills. But her best friend is still getting worse. And she’s not the only one.
Now the king is dying, too.
When the boy she’s had a crush on since childhood volunteers to give his life for her father’s, Vela realizes her people need more than pills to survive. As tensions rise between Aegis and colonists, secrets and sabotage begin to threaten the future of the colony itself.
Unless Vela is brave enough to save them all…
I break off a piece of raspberry tart, with a crust as light as sunshine, and slide it into the pocket of my caftan. My mouth goes dry in spite of the sweet tang that’s about to burst over my tongue.
Because the hidden bite’s not for me. It’s for my best friend, Astana, and if the royal guards catch me stealing food for a colonist, I could be thrown into the Red Cell Prison. Our laws are clear: actual food, as opposed to nutrition pills, must be reserved for those who can utilize it best.
I shove the rest of the tart into my mouth. It breaks upon contact, littering crumbs across the silver shuttle floor. I’m so nervous the dessert tastes like congealed space dust and raspberries, but I chew and swallow as if nothing’s wrong. As if there isn’t a smooshed-up pie staining the inside of my pocket.
Did anyone see me hide the bite?
All around the Banquet Room, the Aegis dig into their mid-afternoon snack. Pecan-encrusted squash, double-mashed garlic potatoes, barbecued tofu drizzled with a blackberry-port reduction. They sit twenty per table, at sheets of metal which would sag if they weren’t doubly reinforced. Their silverware clinks together in a high, tinny melody, replacing the conversation that might have occurred back on Earth, where eating was partly social instead of wholly functional.
On our new planet, Dion, no Aegis talks during the first twenty minutes of a meal. It would be a waste, since more food can be consumed before the stomach has a chance to feel full. And an Aegis has only one goal: to consume as many nutrients as possible. We have to, in order to take in enough sustenance for the rest of the colony.
I’m about to finish what’s left of the tart when a hand closes over my elbow.
My heart stutters. So it comes to this. After training all my life to eat for my people, I’m caught over a piece of raspberry pie.
Pellets of sweat break out on my neck. I turn to my captor, the excuses ready on my lips. It’s just a single bite. My best friend’s been so down lately. I just want to bring her a little excitement, a little joy. Is that so wrong?
The words melt in my mouth. Because it’s not a royal guard who has a hold of me. It’s my older sister.
“Sweet before savory?” Blanca asks, moving the hand from my elbow and onto her hip. “Is that your secret, Vela? You eat a round of dessert before the main course?”
Of course not. I’m only eating this tart because it gives me an excuse to be near the dessert buffet. But Blanca doesn’t have to know that.
“You got me,” I say. “Sweet and savory foods fill different mental compartments, you know. You can still eat chocolate cake, even though you’re full of ramen noodles and pan-fried dumplings—”
“Save it.” Blanca arches her back, jutting out her food baby. Fifteen minutes from now, after she pays a visit to the Transfer Room, her stomach will deflate once again, but my sister’s always been one to show off her roundness, however temporary. “I don’t need your strategies to be named Top Aegis.”
I’m a shoo-in for the top prize this year. Blanca knows it, I know it. Half of our Eating class has placed bets on it. If I keep eating the way I have for the next two days, no one will even come close.
Vela Kunchai, Top Aegis. I can taste it. Hot and satisfying, like a tray of lasagna with a bubbling soy cheese crust. I’d stretch my stomach lining into gauze to make sure it’s me. My sister, unfortunately, feels the same way.
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.
Her novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix del’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the TomeSociety It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award.
Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.
On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Sweet Home Montana
(Charity, Montana Book #3)
By Lynne Marshall
Print & ebook, 278 Pages
September 27th 2018 by Tule Publishing
Entrepreneur Wade Conrad is called home to act as a temporary guardian for his teenage half-brother, who’s acting out and needs strong guidance. Wade feels they are both floundering, so he seeks help for Brent at Healing Heart Acres, an equine therapy center.
Erin Chase has been working as an equine therapist since her fiancé called off their wedding with no explanation three years ago. She personally enjoys the peace found through animal therapy and believes in passing on the gift. When Erin meets Wade, she’s instantly drawn to his concern for his brother, as well as his kindness and charm.
Wade treasures time spent with Erin. They both long for more, but Wade’s leaving for California soon and his brother’s needs come first. Will he take a chance on love before it’s too late?
Erin Chase took the day’s schedule from her work cubby in the old house office and perused it. Dr. Anderson had assigned her to giving the tour for new visitors again. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the job, or that she didn’t understand the importance of explaining the purpose of Healing Heart Acres to potential clients and volunteers. It was because of a little-known fact that Dr. Anderson knew about her and chose to overlook. Erin had become an introvert, who preferred to be alone, working with the animals, not schmoozing with guests. Or humans in general. Except for maybe her three-year-old niece.
There was something Dr. Anderson didn’t know though—Erin hadn’t always been that way.
She had been volunteering at The Acres, as the crew called it, for three years, and Dr. Anderson insisted it was time to move on. To finish that degree in business. Get a job that paid more. In the real world. For Erin, Healing Heart Acres was as real world as she wanted to be. Because it was the place that helped put broken people back together.
Maybe I should start telling her how much I love giving the tour and that I never want to work with the animals again. The absurd reverse psychology trick made her smile.
“Oh, glad to see you’re happy about your schedule,” Elsbeth Anderson said, stepping out of nowhere, catching Erin mid-grin.
As her smile weakened, she made eye contact with her boss, the woman who knew how to read people as well as her therapy animals. There was no point in protesting. If the good doctor didn’t push her, she probably wouldn’t do it on her own.
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
Lynne used to worry she had a serious problem with daydreaming, then she discovered she was supposed to write the stories in her head. A late bloomer, Lynne came to fiction writing after her children were nearly grown. Now she battles the empty nest by writing stories which always include a romance, sometimes medicine, a dose of mirth, or both, but always stories from her heart. She is a Southern California native, married for almost thirty years, has two adult children she is super proud of, is a dog lover, cat admirer, a power walker, and fellow traveler on this wild road called life!
It’s All About the Romance
Hearts & Scribbles
Getting Your Read On
Stacking My Book Shelves!
Cover Lover Book Review
underneath the covers
Nan Reinhardt’s Blog
Becky on Books
Book Lover in Florida
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Locks, Hooks and Books
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
Teatime and Books
Reading Is My SuperPower
2 winners will receive ebooks of Her Baby, His Love and Their Christmas Miracle
Ends October 17th
In Book 2 of the Wake-Robin Ridge series, Marcia Meara, author of Swamp Ghosts and Finding Hunter, returns to the rugged beauty of the North Carolina mountains, introducing a little boy whose remarkable gift will change the world for everyone he meets.
“Evil’s comin’, boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing. He’s the one you gotta find.”
The remote mountain wilderness of North Carolina swallowed up the ten-year-old boy as he made his way down from the primitive camp where his grandparents had kept him hidden all his life. His dying grandmother, gifted with the Sight, set him on a quest to find the Good People, and though he is filled with fear and wary of civilization, Rabbit is determined to keep his promise to her. When he crosses paths with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, neither their lives nor his, are ever the same again.
The extraordinary little boy called Rabbit has the power light up the darkness, and the resourcefulness to save himself from the one person his grandparents had hoped would never find him. His dangerous and bittersweet journey will touch you in unexpected ways, and once you’ve let Rabbit into your heart, you’ll never forget him.
Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, and lives in Sanford, just north of Orlando, with her husband of 30+ years, four large cats, and two small dachshunds. When not working on her books and blogs, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard.
At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that a mere 64 years later, she finally wrote “Wake-Robin Ridge,” her first novel. Making up for lost time, she has published five more novels and a spinoff novella over the last four years:
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3
The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella
Marcia has also published a small chapbook of poetry, Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love, and her work has been included in six Silver Birch Press Anthologies.
Her philosophy? It’s never too late to follow your dream. Just take that first step, and never look back. At age 73, when many people are slowing down, Marcia’s new career is just taking off. She plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, and would, in fact, consider that a pretty good way to go.
You can reach Marcia through her blogs and other social media:
The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/
Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com
This book is a gem!
Ten year old Rabbit has only known one way of life raised in the North Carolina mountains by elderly grandparents. His grandpa disappears and his grandmother dies leaving him with the stern warning, “Evil’s comin’, boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing. He’s the one you gotta find.”
Scared, but determined to abide by her last wishes, Rabbit packs his meagre belongings and heads across the mountains until he stumbles upon Sarah and Mac.
Sarah can’t believe her eyes when she spots a boy hiding in the woods on their property. It takes time and patience, but she finally manages to convince the boy (Rabbit) to come to her house and meet her husband, Mac.
Mac lost his own son years ago and wants nothing to do with the child Sarah has foisted onto them. He works to find Rabbit’s family so that he can get his safe, quiet home back, but he can’t help coming to care for the boy.
They’re amazed and charmed by the delight Rabbit takes in things they’ve always taken for granted; music, electricity, a fridge, even a bed.
“I been sleepin’ under the stars my whole life, an’ when I woke up here, I didn’t know where I was, an’ I couldn’t even figger who I was, neither. I lost me…you know that part what makes us each just us an’ no one else?
Meara, Marcia. A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 (p. 88). UNKNOWN. Kindle Edition.
But trouble is coming to Angel House, as Rabbit calls it, and it will take the love and support of Rabbit’s newfound friends to give him the family he’s always wanted.
The author does an amazing job of bring the Blue Ridge Mountains to life in this tale of triumph over adversity. Rabbit’s sweet honesty creates a hero you can’t help but love.
I give A Boy Named Rabbit 5 well-deserved lovely kisses!
I have a holiday novella due by the end of September and it’s kicking my butt. Some people thrive under stress- I’m NOT one of them, lol.
I’ve been staring my climatic moment in the eye for weeks now and it just won’t cooperate. My vision for this story is a sort of cross between Beauty and the Beast (not the Disney® version but the 1987-1990 television series) with a sensitive, lonely ‘Beast’ and the beautiful kind-hearted woman who draws him out of his shell.
And the Hallmark® Christmas movie, The Mistletoe Inn featuring an aspiring writer 🙂 who signs up for a writing retreat after being dumped by her novelist boyfriend.
I took these two concepts and came up with my hero, Noah Kincaid, a scarred, lonely man (though he thinks he’s fine) in need of a new publicity partner after the recent death of his aunt, and the young and pretty single mother who takes the job.
Molly McCarty is used to tough challenges. Divorced and raising a five-year-old boy is no easy task, especially when she’s surrounded by her ex’s friends and family who all want to help get them back together again.
Desperate for some breathing room, Molly searches the web for opportunities and comes across the position of innkeeper in Christmas, Michigan. Her curiosity about the town named after a famous holiday leads her down a road filled with possibilities.
If only she can break through her partner’s tough shell.
Molly hurried to keep up as Leo wove in and out of the evergreens on display, the air tinted with the scent of pine and balsam. His childish laughter warmed her heart. He’d was unhappy leaving Alberta and his family behind. She couldn’t blame him, she’d been feeling down herself. Ever since her divorce from Jason, she’d been coasting, searching for… well, she wasn’t really sure. She just knew it wasn’t in Edmonton. That was her past, Christmas was her future.
Or, so she hoped.
“Leo, where are you?” she called, half laughing, half worried. The fairy lights strung in graceful arcs across the large gazebo-type structure were pretty, but they didn’t make finding a little boy in a dark jacket easy. Nearby couples glanced in her direction, then joined in the search. It wasn’t that big an area, but there were a lot of hiding places a mischievous little boy might discover.
“I’ve got him.” Noah strode out from between two thick conifers with Leo in his arms. He looked like an outdoor magazine model with his lived-in face and burly shoulders. Molly heard the appreciative sighs from the women around her and her heart stuttered. He really was a handsome man.
She thanked the searchers and shook her head as Noah reached her side. “He was there one minute and then he was gone. You seem to be making a habit out of coming to our rescue.”
He gazed at her with those dark eyes, his hair ruffled by the chilly breeze, and she had the strongest urge to reach up and kiss those uncompromising lips. He’d probably think she was crazy. She’d have to be to try, he hadn’t given any sign of a mutual attraction, and besides, they barely knew each other.
“He was just chasing after a puppy. I’m sure he’s sorry he worried you.” He nodded to Leo. “Better apologize to your mother, now.”
Leo looked at her, excitement sparkling in his eyes. “Mommy, you gotta come see. The puppy is so cute. He’s as white as snow and has blue eyes. Can I have him, Mommy. Please.” He kicked his booted feet, narrowly missing Noah’s groin. Noah winced and set him down.
Molly gave him an apologetic glance, then crouched beside her son. “Honey, you need to calm down. First, Noah is right. You should say sorry for disappearing the way you did. That’s a dangerous thing to do, and I don’t expect you to do it again. Capisce?”
Chastened, Leo scuffed his feet in the snow. “Capease.”
I’m close. I just have to rip out their hearts so I can hand them back again.
You can pre-order the boxset below. I promise I’ll get it done!
•••••• NYT & USA Today Bestselling Authors!!! ••••••
LOVE CHRISTMAS 2
25 Holiday Stories Movies You Love!
International Link: http://books2read.com/LoveChristmas2
Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 25 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.
Kellan Maguire’s on the run from the mob, living a secret life. The only bright spot is his U.S. Marshal handler. Yeah, he wants to handle her….a lot. And in spite of all the rules it would break, Federal Marshal Delaney Evans secretly fears she’d risk everything for one night with Kellan. Even though Delaney’s career, her entire world, could implode if she admits how important he is to her. And all that is before the biggest complication of all hits…
“I know that you may have been on dates since you met me. But none of them distracted you from whatever’s simmering between us. You want to turn back the clock to the day I asked you out and follow through on it.”
“I don’t.” Her words were the verbal equivalent of a foot stamp. Then, softer, as if she didn’t mean to speak it out loud at all, Delaney said, “We can’t.”
In response, Kellan framed her face with his hands, tilted her head back more, and kissed her.
Not the light, polite, introduction kiss they’d shared the first time. Delaney had obviously pushed him past that step. Kellan kissed as if he needed her to know just how badly he wanted her. His lips worked across her mouth, moving and kneading. Kellan nipped at her wide bottom lip. It felt like punishment for her making him wait so long
It also felt like a reward for waiting so long, and she rewarded him with a tiny moan.
Delaney’s hands fisted in his thick hair, pulling and tugging. It undoubtedly showed him the insta-heat burning her up inside as much as the way her leg wrapped around his calf.
She wanted more.
His tongue teased at the seam of her lips, and Delaney opened for him like they’d already done this dance a hundred times. She tasted the sweetness lingering from his drink. Desire rocketed through her, turning her nerves to lava. From the way his penis had hardened to pure steel against her belly, Kellan felt the same.
He streaked the backs of his knuckles down the undersides of her raised arms. Kept going to just lightly brush them along the sides of her breasts, her ribs, the flare of her hips to finally land on the curve of her ass.
Kellan dug his fingers in and lifted. Just high enough to press her center against his penis. Instantly, she got on board with the position, rocking against him even as her tongue twined and teased.
It was impossible to stop the little, breathy moans that kept escaping from her. It was impossible not to undulate against his rock hard abs and dig her fingers into the sculpted muscles of his back. Kissing Kellan wasn’t foreplay. It was a sex act all by itself. Utterly satisfying even as it drove her hunger up immeasurably.
And while Delaney would’ve sworn it was impossible, he was a million times better in reality than all the ways she’d fantasized being with him over the past months. Kellan ripped his mouth away to burn a trail of kisses down the side of her neck.
A semi rolled by, and the driver honked for a long time. It had been easy to ignore the white noise of the cars passing, but the horn broke through to Delaney. It reminded her they were on the edge of a green-scummed pond, across from a strip mall. The world could see them making out. And they’d already shot way past a reasonable stopping point.
So she unwound her leg and put her foot back down on the ground. Kellan seemed to get the signal. He dialed back the intensity on his kisses and rained them up the side of her face, down her nose, to end with a light peck on her mouth before easing back. Then he moved his hands to her shoulders.
It took a moment for her eyes to re-open. When they did, it took another moment before Delaney fully focused on him.
“Not only can we kiss,” Kellan said with enough authority to make her realize he wouldn’t allow her to pretend this hadn’t happened. To pretend that she hadn’t just climbed him like a tree and responded with a fervor that matched his own. “We’re absolutely doing it again.”
USA TODAY bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series.
Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.