Trust Fund Fiancé by Naima Simone is a friends to lovers romance and from the cover alone I couldn’t wait to dive into. Two families, each with their own secrets, meddling, and expectations a plenty are just a few reasons to read this Harlequin Desire book.
In this Texas Cattleman’s Club: Rags to Riches Book 4 one will defy the odds and the other will test every limit possible. Who will resist and who will not stop until they have everything they want? Both know from family obligations and expectations. A life where others think they know best doesn’t always equate to love. Let’s not forget family scandal, secrets, and a whole lot more!
Are you ready to find out who will overcome their past, defying the odds and find a happy-ever-after? Don’t forget all the heat, sizzle and desire you need for a bookcation this weekend. Ezekiel “Zeke” Holloway and Reagan Sinclair are ready to share their story with you, all you have to do is one-click now.
When you’re done be sure to check out Naima’s extensive backlist with heroes and heroines who are looking for love and discovering themselves along the way. Caution, this scorchin hot read may lead to unexpected need to turn on the A/C.
Welcome to The Extra Shot where you’ll find an excerpt from Blame It On The Billionaire by Naima Simone. Happy Book Birthday Naima!
“Why didn’t you want me to know your name?” Grayson finally asked, casting aside the socially acceptable tact that had been drilled into him since birth. “Do we know each other?”
Nadia’s sharp but low intake of breath glanced off his ears, and he faced her again, openly scrutinizing her face for any telltale signs of deception. But she was good. Aside from that gasp, her expression remained shuddered. Either she had nothing to hide or she was damn good at lying.
He couldn’t decide which one to believe.
“No,” she whispered. “We don’t know each other.”
Truth rang in her voice, and the vise squeezing his chest loosened a fraction of an inch.
“And I guess, I didn’t see the point of exchanging names. If not for this blackout or you being in this hallway instead of the ballroom, our paths wouldn’t have crossed. And when the power is restored, we’ll become strangers again. Getting to know each other will pass the time but it’s not because we truly want to. It’s not…honest.”
Her explanation struck him like a punch. It echoed throughout his body, vibrating through skin and bone. Honest. What did he know about that?
In the world he moved in, deception was everywhere—from the social niceties of “It’s so good to see you” to the cagey plans to land a business deal. He wasn’t used to her brand of frankness, and so he didn’t give her platitudes. Her honesty deserved more than that.
“You’re right,” he said. “And you’re wrong.” Deliberately, he straightened his legs until they sprawled out in front him, using that moment to force himself to give her the truth. “If not for me needing to get out of that ballroom and bumping into you here, we wouldn’t have met. You would be outside, unprotected in the parking lot or on the road. And I would be trapped in the dark with people I wish I didn’t know, most likely going out of my mind. So for that alone, I’m glad we did connect. Because Nadia…” He surrendered to the need that had been riding him since looking down into her upturned face, and clasped a lock of her hair, twisting it around his finger. “Nadia, I would rather be out here with you, a complete stranger I’ve met by serendipity, then surrounded by the familiar strangers I’ve known for years in that ballroom.”
She stared at him, her pretty lips slightly parted, espresso eyes widened in surprise.
“Another thing you’re correct and incorrect about. True, when the lights come back on and we leave here, we probably won’t see each other again. But in this moment, there’s nothing I want more than to discover more about Nadia with the gorgeous mouth, the unholy curves and the underwhelming fairy godmother.”
Maybe he shouldn’t have pushed it with the comments about her mouth and body, but if they were being truthful, then he refused to hide how attractive he found her. Attractive, hell. Such an anemic description for his hunger to explore every inch of her and be able to write a road map later.
Her lashes fluttered before lowering, hiding her eyes. In her lap, her elegant fingers twisted. He released the strands of her hair and checked the impulse to tip her chin up and order her to look at him.
“Why did you need to escape the ballroom?” she asked softly.
He didn’t immediately reply, instead waiting until her gaze rose to meet his.
Blame it on the Billionaire by Naima Simone is perfection. Delicious, decadent, and satisfied my craving for a scorchin read. Be warned, you might find that despite the cold weather outside a sudden need to turn on the A/C.
A heroine who is genuine, passion that radiates through my e-reader click after click, and the flawless writing makes this one-click worthy.
Grayson Chandler is done with his meddling and nagging mother who is not afraid to remind him of his family obligations. Expectations don’t care about the heart or personal feelings. When Grayson finds the one woman who could potentially save him and satisfy all of his needs, he will propose a business deal that could jeopardize everything. Some things are worth the risk ;).
When Nadia Jordan meets Grayson during a blackout, her world will spin on its axis. What will happen when the lights turn on and the truth is revealed? Nadia will do whatever she must to overcome her mothers reputation even if it means breaking her heart. This journey is one that ticks all the boxes and will be one your recommend to other romance lovers :).
Warm up your winter nights with this read and discover a romance that dares to defy as we discover the emotional journey of two characters who are destined to be together. A journey worth taking and one that will leave you wanting more from Naima Simone. I wish there was more, not because the story didn’t have closure or ended too soon. I wanted more because I fell in love with the characters and could’ve kept on reading.
I received a copy from the publisher for a fair and honest review. I can’t wait for more from this must read author.
Get your copy now!
Good thing Naima has a backlist to keep you satisfied – click here.
USA Today Bestselling author NaimaSimone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Sandra Brown many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— writing sizzling romances with a touch of humor and snark.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits.
If you’re heading to New York City July 24-27, 2019 forRWA2019or another conference reminders and tips are always helpful. Especially when it comes to packing, and as a first timer commuting to the hotel each day I am hoping I remember to pack all the things in one suitcase ;).
Hopefully you won’t find yourself waking up in the middle of the night panicked that you now need the very thing you forgot to pack. Or, finding out moments before you have a meeting or fun place to go, you ran out of or forgot something essential.
So, to all the newbies, and seasoned travel veterans, I’m running an Authors Dish specifically targeted on what authors and industry professionals always include in their suitcases, what they stash in their conference bag to avoid hunger pains and the things they forget once and hopefully never again. While some of the authors contributing are not attending we love that they want to contribute.
May this inspire you to plan, make your lists, and triple check so you are prepared for just about anything. If you’re heading to RWA2019 I’d love to say hi. Comment below so we can be sure to meet up in NYC.
Stay tuned as we’ll have plenty of tips and tricks in the upcoming weeks so check the blog daily.
Rae: What five things do you have to pack when attending a conference?
Naima Simone: Let’s see… I can’t forget swag, books if I’m bringing my own, my phone for notes and pictures, a “book signing” outfit (one that will have my waist appear snatched in pictures. LOL!) and great lipstick.
Legal pad or notebook
Gail Z. Martin/Morgan Brice:
Bookmarks/swag, my iPad so I can write in the room, blingy jewelry and sparkly jackets, at least one Supernatural t-shirt, and my travel power bar so I can plug in everything that needs to be recharged!
Rae: What is your snack attack must haves in your day bag?
Naima Simone: Actually, I don’t snack during conferences! I’m usually way too nervous and excited, so I don’t have an appetite at all. But for dinner? That’s a different situation all together. 😀
100-calorie packs of mixed walnuts and almonds
Toastchee orange (color, not flavor) peanut butter crackers
Kashi cherry & dark chocolate bars
Gail/Morgan: I bring peanut butter crackers or protein bars for a quick breakfast in the room or pick-me-up in the afternoon, a refillable water bottle, a couple of cans sugar-free Red Bull, and if I don’t have to fly, a flask of good whiskey or a bottle of wine!
Rae:What’s the one thing you forget to pack and swear to remember next time?
Naima Simone: Toothpaste or deodorant. I never fail to forget to pack one of them and always have to stop by the Dollar Tree wherever I’m going. LOL!
Nancy: Pens! Luckily there’s often a selection in the goodie room.
Gail / Morgan: Usually make-up wipes! I never seem to remember to replenish my stash.
Rae: Thank you so much authors! I’ll be keeping a running list and will post it a week before RWA2019 so that hopefully no one needs to make a quick run to the lobby market or drug store around the corner. I’ll see you soon for new authors and more ideas!
** Author Bios **
Naima Simone: USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Sandra Brown many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— writing sizzling romances with a touch of humor and snark.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Nancy Northcott: Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman. Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, history, and romance. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes (and sometimes the magic) she loves in the books she writes.
She’s the author of the Light Mage Wars/Protectors paranormal romances, the Lethal Webs and Arachnid Files romantic suspense series, and the historical fantasy trilogy, The Boar King’s Honor. With author Jeanne Adams, she co-writes the Outcast Station space opera series.
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, and Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
A Millionaire at Midnight by Naima Simone is pure fun. What happens when you have a bachelor auction? It’s wickedly delicious. Add that to a story chock full of family conflict, redemption and acceptance, and you have the ingredients for the perfect mid-week bookcation.
Morgan has three days to erase her fiance in this modern day twist on a classic tale, will it work? Only if Alexander Bishop can make those in his world believe Morgan is his fiance, if not he’ll loose everything he’s ever wanted.
Attraction. Check. Goals. Check. Too bad they can’t stand each other ;). The chemistry is insane and this version of Cinderella is assertive, witty, and knows a thing or two about how to get her Prince.
Readers the pace is fast, the story pulls you in and I can’t wait for the next sexy bachelor! Naima is on my auto-buy list. I love her stories and think this twist on Cinderella is fabulous!
I received this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review. While it’s part of a series it can be read as a standalone.
For more information on Naima check out her websitehere.
Welcome to Authors Dish where your favorite authors share what they are reading. In addition, if you enjoy reading their books they have suggestions for similar book adventures by other authors. It doesn’t get better than that!
Rae: If readers are a fan of your books, who should they consider reading?
Delancey Stewart: Tracy Brogan, Terri Osburn and Melanie Summers
Tawna Fenske: If you enjoy my zanier romantic comedies like Making Waves or Frisky Business, you’d probably enjoy books by Jennifer Crusie or Linda Grimes. If you like my meatier rom-coms that straddle the line between women’s fiction and romance (This Time Around, At the Heart of It, About that Fling), you’d probably enjoy Kristan Higgins. If you like small-town romance in a shorter, cozier read (like my newest rom-com, Studmuffin Santa), you’d probably like Kait Nolan. And if you enjoy my super-steamy erotic rom-coms like The List, you’d probably enjoy Lauren Blakely, Victoria Dahl, or Samanthe Beck.
Naima Simone: Samanthe Beck, Lauren Hawkeye, Gina Maxwell, Cathryn Fox, Robin Covington, and Nina Crespo.
Rae: Thank you so much authors! Let me know dear readers if you try any of these books. I’ll see you next week – same time for new authors and more fun!
Delancey Stewart: Award-winning author Delancey Stewart writes contemporary romance.
Stewart has lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns. She’s been a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer and a direct sales representative for a French wine importer. But she has always been a writer first.
A wife and the mother of two small boys, her current job titles include pirate captain, monster hunter, Lego assembler and story reader. She tackles all these efforts at her current home outside Washington D.C.
Tawna Fenske: When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA-nominated, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”
Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. To find out more about Tawna and her books, visitwww.tawnafenske.com.
Naima Simone: USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— writing sizzling romances with a touch of humor and snark.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Today I’m featuring books by Samantha Chase, Suzanne Ferrell, Dianna Love, Anna Campbell, Tessa McFionn, and Naima Simone. Their books range from romantic suspense to erotic so there is something for everyone.
Be sure to check out the amazing e-book giveaways at the very bottom. It’s going to be a sweet and spicy day!
USA Today Bestselling author Suzanne discovered romance novels in her aunt’s hidden stash one summer as a teenager. From that moment on she knew two things: she loved romance stories and someday she’d be writing her own. Her love for romances has only grown over the years. It took her a number of years and a secondary career as a nurse to finally start writing her own stories.
Currently there are two main series she’s actively writing in: The Westen Series, a contemporary small town series based in a fictional Ohio town where “things aren’t always what they seem”, and features Close To Home, Close To The Edge and Close To The Fire. The second series is the Romantic Suspense books KIDNAPPED, HUNTED, SEIZED and VANISHED, featuring the Edgars family as they fight for justice, even if it means stepping slightly outside the rulebook.
KIDNAPPED and HUNTED were both Golden Heart finalist, and SEIZED, book #3 in the Edgars Family Novels, was a finalist in the novella category of the OKRWA’s National Reader’s Choice Awards contest.
Suzanne’s sexy stories, whether they be her on the edge of your seat romantic suspense or the small town romantic suspense stories they’ll keep you thinking about her characters long after their Happy Ever After is achieved.
Exposed (An Edgars Family Novel) by Suzanne Ferrell is explosive. I LOVE the cover and it really sets the tone for the story, can you feel the heat?
Our hero, Frank Castello is a rugged take-charge guy who is neat, organized and always putting his family first. Add in a dash of charming and a heaping spoonful of pure gentleman and it makes him a perfect hero! If only he didn’t hate photographers, but then he has his reasons and it will take a firestorm to change his mind.
Sydney Peele lost her father as a child and cherishes the gift he gave her long ago, her treasured camera. Now, a rising photographer with an eye for capturing life and a booming business, she’s enjoying her career as a fashion photographer. Too bad her nomadic brother can’t get his act together and leave her out of shenanigans.
After a night out on a job, Sydney returns to find her home up in flames. Everyone now has questions for her. Why? Why? Why? I love Sydney and there is no reason to incinerate her life like that, but ooohhh it brings her and Castello together. Suzanne, if you must I will forgive you just this one time.
Castello will need to break protocol and about every other “inner voice” warning to get to the bottom of what happened. In order to find out who has targeted Sydney she will have to go off the grid. It doesn’t take long for things to heat up between them, but will they give in to their desire? Castello has one goal, discover who is after Sydney and protect her. Suzanne has packed so much into this fifth installment and fans of this series will be elated. I’m excited and I only know Castello from Captiol Danger.
Oh, quick note…. this book is best consumed in one serving. Trust me, I sat down and could not turn my e-reader off. The writing is full of adventure, tension, romance and everything you would expect from Suzanne. From the fist page you can tell Castello had a story to tell and he sure did! I’d love to see this as a TV movie – when you finish I’m sure you’ll agree! Check out her storyboard on pinterest for her inspiration (link at the bottom).
Need a few more reasons? There is nothing sexier than Frank’s two word sentences, a handful of bad guys, a few puzzles and old school photography. Well done Suzanne – this was exactly what I needed last night.
Discover for yourself how action packed & exciting a Deputy U.S. Marshal can be! This two peppers spicy latte hot delight has just enough sizzle to make you tingle and a lot of action! Oh, and yes, it’s for mature readers 18+.
While this book is part of a series it can be read as a standalone. If you are a reader who must read in order, check out Suzanne’s backlist and also be sure to read Capitol Danger.
I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review. Only a few more days till this hot book is released. When I have a link I’ll include it.
Check out this Excerpt of EXPOSED now and see for yourself (thank you Suzanne).
The North Bank Park was located just west of downtown Columbus, below where the Olentangy and Scioto rivers merged to form the bigger Scioto River. The park itself was built on what used to be the pump house for the old Ohio Penitentiary.
He’d happily pointed out to Luke how ironic it was that two federal agents were getting married where criminals were once housed. For some reason, the kid didn’t think it was funny at all.
Locking his door, Frank left the reserved spots in the parking lot perpendicularly down the street from the park. A number of parking meters had been reserved on the street beside the park, but they should be for the Edgars’ immediate family and grandparents. Besides, his leg could use the exercise.
Walking down Neil Avenue towards the Park’s glass-enclosed pavilion where the ceremony would be held, he enjoyed the crisp June air. He had to give it to Luke and Abigail, they’d picked the perfect day for the wedding. He wasn’t overly romantic, didn’t get gushy when people talked about weddings, but he did believe good things should happen to good people. Especially when one of them almost died.
A little more than a year ago, Abigail had been in the hospital. She’d thrown herself between Luke and a knife. Nearly losing her had been the final wake-up call for the youngest Edgars brother. He’d dropped his playboy lifestyle to focus entirely on Abigail, even after she recovered.
As Frank crossed Long Street in front of the pavilion, a taxi pulled to a stop at the crosswalk. From the backseat emerged a petite woman, her blonde hair pulled up into some zany sort of a bun with strands of it falling loose like straws from an unkempt pile of hay. Dressed in green-khaki cargo pants, hiking boots and a huge, oversized blue sweater, she had two travel bags hanging off her shoulders and her hand hooked around the handle of a garment bag. Aviator-style sunglasses hid half her face.
“Let me get you some extra cash for getting me here so quickly from the airport,” she said to the driver as she fished around in one of her bags, losing her grip on the garment bag. “Oh, no!” she yelped, trying to manage everything and losing the carryon bag at the same time.
Acting out of instinct, Frank took two quick strides and grabbed both bags before they hit the pavement. “Got ’em.”
“Oh, my God! Thank you,” the woman said, turning a relieved smile up at him as if he’d saved her from dropping a baby onto the concrete. “I don’t know what I would’ve done had that crashed on the ground.”
She reached for the carryon bag, but he held it firm, wondering what the hell she had in it to make it so heavy, and nodded at the taxi driver behind her.
“Oh, yes.” She handed the other man some money and took the handle of the larger suitcase from him.
“You sure this where you want me to drop you, ma’am?” the driver asked in slightly halting English with a middle-eastern accent. He scanned around the pavilion and office buildings in the area then back at her, concern in his eyes.
The woman laughed. Not a childish tinkling or giggling, but a husky, dark, whiskey kind of sound that caught Frank smack in the middle of his chest.
“Yes, I’m sure,” she said, smiling at the man. “You’re probably used to your fares wanting to go to a hotel or their homes, but this is where I need to be this afternoon. It’s a wedding.”
The driver glanced at her clothes, then over at Frank before shrugging. “Most happy felicitations to you both,” he said, then climbed into his cab once more.
The woman started to protest, but the driver had already pulled out into traffic. She watched the taxi for a moment, then whirled on him. He’d never been trout fishing, but her open-mouthed expression of bewilderment reminded him of a fish he’d seen on one of those nature sports shows shown on Sundays before the football games aired.
“How could he possibly think we were getting married?” she asked.
He glanced down at the three-piece tuxedo he had on. Then, quirking one brow, he nodded at the garment bag in her hand. “I have no idea.”
That had her lips slamming shut into a line. He imagined she was glaring at him from behind those sunglasses, which he suddenly wished were gone so he could see what color her eyes were.
“I take it you’re here for the Whitson-Edgars wedding?” she finally asked.
He refrained from asking if there was more than one wedding here today. He might be a bachelor, but he knew that a sarcastic comment to an already irritated woman might result in bodily injury. Instead, he just nodded.
Suddenly her face lit up with a hundred-watt, straight-to-his-gut smile. “Oh, my God, you’ve got to be Frank. Abby’s told me all about you. A man of few words.” Letting go of her suitcase handle, she stuck her hand out to him. “I’m Sydney Peele.”
“The photographer.” He stared at her hand as if it were a cobra ready to strike, his humor and interest in the little tornado of a woman flattened like a tire running over nails in the road.
Her smile fading, she withdrew her hand and grabbed her suitcase once more. “Um, yes. I was…hoping to get here before the wedding party arrived.”
“They’re not here yet.” He wanted to hand her the heavy carryon bag, which he suspected carried the cameras she used to ply her trade into people’s privacy, and distance himself from the pariah of modern social technology. Paparazzi. Photographers. Demon spawn. But the woman already had both hands full of bags.
“That’s good. I promised Abby I’d be here to take pictures before the wedding started. Please tell me there’s somewhere I can change? I just got off the plane and came straight here.” There was a slight hesitation in her voice as she glanced around at the glass enclosed pavilion.
Damn it. As much as he wanted to drop her camera case on the concrete sidewalk and possibly smash the offensive equipment of her trade, he couldn’t ignore that little signal of distress.
It was a character flaw. The need to protect. His late partner called it his hero-complex. He couldn’t let someone in trouble—even if it was simply finding a place to change clothes—fend for themselves.
“This way,” he said. Stepping around her, he led the way to the brick portion of the facility in back of the pavilion without waiting to see if she followed. At the entrance, he did hold the door for her, but refused to help wrangle the roll-on type suitcase in for her. “Third door on the right is the women’s restroom.”
“Thanks,” she said with another of those overly-bright smiles, and strutted down the hallway.
Despite her chosen profession, he had to admit those pants shifted nicely on her bottom as she sashayed away, her blonde hair bouncing like a halo around her head as she walked.
It wasn’t until the door closed behind her that he realized he still held her bag of camera equipment. He should just leave it outside the bathroom on the floor. But someone might steal them, and he had a feeling it would be very expensive for her to try and replace them.
He stalked to the door and knocked on it—hard. “You forgot your bag.”
The door opened a minute later.
“Oh, thanks,” she said with another smile, the aviator-framed sunglasses now on top of her head. She had a dusting of freckles on her nose and cheeks. “I usually don’t let that bag out of my sight,” she said, taking the bag and stepping back into the restroom, closing the door on him.
Her eyes were so blue they appeared purple.
Who the hell has purple eyes?
“Castello, give us a hand.”
He shook off the odd numbness that seeing Sydney Peele’s eyes had caused him to look to his left in time to see Dave and Matt Edgars hauling in two crates of wine. He hurried to help his friends load in the drinks for the reception, pushing inappropriate thoughts of the little photographer out of his mind. The last thing he needed was to give her any reason to focus her attention, or one of her cameras, on him.
Close to the Mistletoe (A Westen Series Novella) by Suzanne Ferrell is a thrilling holiday novella that you must read this holiday season! With a brilliant cover it draws you in to visit Westen and it’s beloved characters in this absolutely perfect story. I don’t know about you but I just love those power tools! Dear readers, it’s time to head out to the hardware store or add a few to your wish list.
Our heroine Holly Murphy agrees to go out and celebrate with an evening of fun and mischief. That is until she realizes she needs to be rescued. What will she do and who will help her?
Nick Fisher can only focus on Holly but isn’t so sure she notices him. Time is of the essence. Can they figure out what they want or will it take Santa to make the magic happen?
Download this holiday novella and discover for yourself how a wardrobe malfunction, a holiday town tradition and a Christmas pageant make this a must read.
In the meantime, download the series from Suzanne’s backlist and see why I love the town of Westen.
I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review. I hope that you will scoop up this holiday novella and make your e-reader happy.
Close To The Mistletoe
What the hell was she doing here?
Holly Murphy tugged at the hem of her tight skirt as she followed her best friend, Stacy Williams, into the Wagon Wheel Tavern. Actually, she knew what she was doing here. Tonight she was Stacy’s wingman—or was it wing-woman? Whatever it was, her duty was to accompany Stacy on her first foray into the single world, in celebration of the finalizing of her divorce. It’s what friends did. Even if they hated going to bars. Even if they hated dressing in tight clothes that showed off more of their flaws than necessary. Even if they had to order one drink and let it get warm so that they could be the designated driver.
“Come on. You look great,” Stacy said, holding the door for her, an annoyed, hurry-up look on her face. “It’s Friday night. The place will be filled with people. And by people, I mean men.”
And that’s what had Holly worrying about her outfit—the one Stacy picked out for her. She’d prefer to wear a nice pair of jeans, cowboy boots, and a big, comfy sweater, especially on a cold winter night. Stacy had nixed that idea, insisting she borrow the tight jean skirt that accentuated her hips and thighs, the thin, gold shimmery sweater that cut way down into the cleavage her new bra formed out of her average-sized breasts, and the leather jacket and three-inch heels. Basically making her into a shorter, chunkier, brunette version of the tall, blonde bombshell Stacy. The kind of man Stacy wanted to meet tonight wasn’t the kind Holly dreamed of meeting. She didn’t want exciting men interested in one-night stands. What she dreamed of was a man who would be interested in a home and family, someone solid and dependable, handsome, and interested in someone not so glamorous.
But tonight wasn’t about her. Tonight was a celebration for her friend. So, she pasted on her best smile, ignored the feel of the skirt hitting her mid-thigh, and marched into the Wagon Wheel.
Stacy was right. The place was packed.
She’d been here a few times when she first moved to Westen six years ago, fresh out of college. It really hadn’t changed much since that day. The wood-paneled walls, floor and bar area gave it the rustic feeling that went with the title. Neon-tubed signs for beers and alcohol flanked the bar area, that featured a huge wheel from some nineteenth-century wagon anchored in the center of the back of the bar mirror. Bottles of every kind of alcohol sat on the spokes. Of course since it was the first of December, there were Christmas lights—the big-bulb kind in various colors—and gaudy strings of silver tinsel strung around the bar and wagon wheel. Off in the corner of the poolroom was a fake Christmas tree, with the same lights and garland covering it.
The other difference was the clientele.
Instead of just truck drivers looking to relax after sixteen hours on the road, and local farmers coming in for a night away from home, there were couples doing line dancing, construction workers playing pool with some punk rockers, and what looked to be new millennials filling up the booths.
“I told you a lot of the newbies in town come here on the weekends. It’s all the talk at FiberCO,” Stacy said, and headed to a spot that just cleared at the bar.
FiberCo, a fiber optics manufacturing company, was one of several new enterprises that moved to the
outskirts of town in the past year, taking advantage of the new highway connecting the area around Westen with both the state capital in Columbus and the cities in the northeast section of the state. After the town was nearly blown up by a crazed meth dealer, the state started infusing building capital into the area. The resulting influx of new workers and jobs for long-term residents had Westen expanding both physically and financially.
“Aren’t you concerned Drake will be here, too?” Holly asked, as she squeezed into the spot between Stacy and a group of men talking football.
Stacy shook her head. “He doesn’t party in town. I learned that through the divorce. He likes to drive into Columbus. That’s where he met his whore girlfriend.”
“What can I get you girls?” the female bartender asked.
“Two mojitos, if you have them,” Stacy ordered.
“Sure thing.” Something else new to the Wagon Wheel. More cocktails were being served, adding to the usual menu of beers and whisky.
The music shifted from a country dance song to hard-bass rock, and several of the couples at the tables walked onto the dance floor. Holly watched them for a few moments, wishing she felt confident enough to join them. She loved dancing around her house, but hated anyone seeing how awkward she was.
“There you go, ladies,” the bartender said, setting their drinks down. Stacy handed her a twenty and told her to keep the change.
“Let me help pay.” Holly reached into her bag for her wallet.
Stacy stopped her and smiled. “Not this round. I’m just glad you came out to celebrate with me.”
“I am, too.” Holly raised her glass. “To a new beginning.”
They clinked glasses and took a drink. Stacy turned to lean back against the bar and started scanning the room. “Oh, look. There’s Joe. Let’s go say hi.”
“Joe? Who’s Joe?” Holly hurried to follow her friend to the far corner of the bar.
“A friend from work,” Stacy said over her shoulder. “He said he’d be here tonight.”’
As they neared the table, Holly saw two men. The tall, dark-haired man seemed to have shoulders that went on forever. His burgundy Henley shirt—open at the collar, and sleeves pushed up to show off muscular forearms—stretched down his body and tucked into a pair of jeans slung low on his hips. To top it off were a pair of boots—not cowboy boots, but hiking-work boots. If that was Joe, Holly could see why Stacy wanted to say hi. Right now, Holly wanted to say take me home and have your way with me.
Both men slid off their barstools. But it wasn’t sexy-shoulders-and-arms man who smiled as they neared. The shorter, slightly balding man stepped away from the table and pulled Stacy in for a very close hug. Friend. Right.
“Holly, this is Joe, and his friend, Nick,” Stacy said, as she slid onto a vacant barstool.
“Nick’s just moved to town,” Joe said, holding a barstool for Stacy. “Thought he could use a night out.”
Holly smiled at both men and tried to wiggle onto the high stool. No easy feat when you were barely
taller than the stool, and your skirt was too tight and too short.
“Here, let me help,” Nick said in a deep voice that sent heat from her ears all across her body as he held the stool steady for her with one hand and took her elbow with the other.
Grabbing on to the table with her free hand and placing her foot on the rung of the stool, she gave a little shove and twisted her behind onto the seat. She swore she heard a tearing sound. Then the skirt gave. Suddenly, cool wood met the back of her bare upper thighs. Then the split went higher and her bare bottom met the slick barstool. She froze.
It was four days before Christmas and Bobby Roberts sat on the edge of the bed, her hands twisted together in her lap. She’d been too nervous to look at the damn stick. Instead, she’d laid the thing on a towel on the counter and fled the bathroom, leaving her fiancé, Gage Justice, in there to read the results.
A very long minute later, her soon-to-be-husband sauntered out of the bathroom, his blue cotton pajama pants riding low on his hips. He stopped in front of her, his face unreadable. Bending, he scooped her up in his arms.
“Gage?” She squeaked his name as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
He sat on the bed, keeping her cradled on his lap. “Let me ask you something.”
“What? Is something wrong? You’re scaring me.” The serious look on his face wasn’t what she’d been expecting.
He leaned in and kissed her, slow and deep, her worries fading into the dim morning light as the need for more of him consumed her. When she made the move to snuggle in closer to his naked chest, he slowly ended the kiss. “Bobby? Do you love me?”
She leaned back and cupped his face in her hands, staring into the forest green of his eyes. “You know I do.”
“No matter what that little stick says, you’re still going to marry me tomorrow evening and spend the rest of your life with me? Right?”
The slight hesitancy in his question made her heart swell. To think this strong and wonderful mountain of a man could be scared she might reject him made her love him even more. She kissed him softly then smiled at him. “That’s the plan, big guy.”
The lines of worry on his face eased as a grin spread over it, slow and suggestive. “Oh, I’ve got something big planned for you.”
“Oh, you do, do you?” she said with a giggle. Lifting her leg, she wiggled around until she straddled him. She slid forward, feeling the thickness of his erection against her bare bottom. “Mmm, a man of his word.”
“That’s me, a promise is a sacred thing.” He reached down and pulled the hem of her nightshirt up and over her head and arms, flinging it to the floor. “And right now, I promise to love you until you scream my name.”
“And what will Mrs. Munroe have to say?” she asked, scooting closer so her nipples rubbed deliciously against the soft hairs of his chest. Her efforts were rewarded by a growl from deep inside him as he grasped her ass cheeks with his hands to haul her in tighter.
“I doubt she sleeps with her hearing aids in, but I like a challenge.” He grinned in that sexy, I’m-about-to-make-hot-mind-blowing-love-to-you way that already had her growing moist between her thighs.
Before she could ask exactly what he had planned, Gage reached up and gripped the back of her head in one hand, his fingers clenching in her hair. He dragged her down until his mouth claimed hers in a hard, hot kiss, his tongue sliding in between her parted lips. He tasted minty.
She pulled back. He’d had time to brush his teeth while she’d been waiting for him to tell her about the stick?
“Gage, the stick?” she asked as he trailed his mouth down the column of her neck, sending shivers and goose flesh all over her.
“Later, I’m busy right now.” He caught her mouth once more, this time in a low, slow, kiss, as if he were devouring the most decadent dessert in the history of desserts. Leaning back, he took her with him, until she was spread over his chest. All the while, one hand gripped her bottom tight against the thick part of him and the other controlled her head, keeping her focused on the things his mouth and tongue were doing to hers.
As always she couldn’t get enough of this man. Couldn’t get close enough. Couldn’t taste enough. Couldn’t feel enough. Her hands caressed and kneaded the long, thick muscles of his arms then traveled down to his hips and slowly up his sides, finding every ridge of sinewy muscle and hard plane of rib.
Slowly, he turned them until she was beneath him and her legs parted wide for him to settle between them. He lifted up on his hands, his gaze fastening on hers. “Would it be a bad thing if the stick said we were pregnant?”
Her hands on his lower back, she gazed into his eyes, reading both the question and hope in them. “No,” she said, smiling. “Having a baby with you would be wonderful. And we’re not getting any younger.”
“And if we weren’t yet, would you want to try?” he asked.
This time the smile turned into a happy grin. “Yes, I believe I would.”
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.
Silver Bell Falls by Samantha Chase is about hope, forgiveness and family. I’ve read a few holiday stories from Samantha and have enjoyed each and everyone. While it might be the middle of the summer and most of us are spending our days relaxing at the beach or lounging by the pool Samantha’s stories will cool you off wishing it was the beginning of Christmas season ;).
Melanie Harper didn’t always dislike Christmas and now all the things that are associated with the festive time of the year are not helping her to finish her latest work assignment. Under deadline Melanie, a romance author, must turn in her next book and she has writers block in the worst way.
No one understands why she could dislike the holiday season so when her father informs her of a wish from her Grandmother who recently died, Melanie reluctantly obliges dear old dad and her wishes. Maybe it will help her find her magic or give her a little peace and quiet from it all.
When I started reading this book I was immediately drawn in with her vivid description of the town, the characters and Melanie’s first encounter with Josiah.
There is nothing more enticing right now than a town filled with happy residents who are kind and especially one that includes a sexy Sherriff. Who couldn’t use a little of that right now?
The holidays are about giving, spending time with loved ones and lots of merriment. Can Melanie finally celebrate Christmas without hate and resentment? We are rooting for Josiah to be the one to figure out why she dislikes it so much and open her eyes to the beauty in the town and season. If Melanie can trust him there is so much out there to keep her in Silver Bell Falls.
If you love stories that have lots of flirty and tense scenes between the hero and heroine, a story with a plot that stands on its own and is set during Christmas then this book should be added to your e-reader now. This book will leave you satisfied from beginning to end and if you’ve never read a book by Samantha then dive right in with this one and then check out her backlist. There are so many to choose from that you will thank me :).
I received this book from the author for a fair and honest review. I hope that we will see more from the other characters in Silver Bell Falls. With a large family there are plenty of siblings Samantha, I hope we meet one soon!
The Christmas Cottage and Ever After by Samantha Chase are two holiday books bundled together in this book that was released from Sourcebooks Casablanca this past October. From the sweet cover to the enchanting holiday fairytale of a cottage that has magical powers strong enough to bring two souls together forever will charm you and leave you looking for your own fairytale ending. I absolutely loved this story and you will too!
In The Christmas Cottage we meet Ava Callahan who insists she continue the family tradition when it comes to her upcoming wedding and stay in the cottage so that she too can have the “ever after” magic sprinkled into her life.
Will the fairytale ring true? Will it give her everlasting love? Find out what happens to those near and dear to her as they try to make her wishes come true.
If Lacey Quinn can pull of the makeover of the century she will win over the heart of her best friend forever. If only her brother agreed with her crazy and impulsive reasons.
Ean Callahan is the boy who Lacey confessed too years ago, the one who went off to college and left behind a young girl and a crushed heart. Ean is Laceys best friend Ava’s brother, and now the stand-in groomsman for her wedding. What happened to Brian McCabe and why was he demoted?
Who will make it to the alter and who will find their fairy tale ever after? What happened to Brian and what is it with the cottage that has everyone ready to cast aside what they really want?
This book will make the holiday merry, add lots of love, tinsel and warmth to your e-reader or bookshelf. Don’t miss out on adding this one to your collection now. The holidays might be a few months away but it’s never too soon to add those books to the reading list 🙂
New York Times bestseller Dianna Love once dangled over a hundred feet in the air to create unusual marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. Now she focuses her energetic muse on storytelling. The first book she wrote won a RITA® Award and sold out in six weeks. She writes high-octane romantic thrillers and urban fantasy, with FATAL PROMISE, book 6 in the sexy, fast-paced Slye Temp romantic suspense series released June 28th, and DRAGON KING OF TREOIR, book 8 in the bestselling Belador urban fantasy series scheduled for January, 2017.
When not in the writing cave, Dianna loves touring the country on her BMW motorcycle. She lives in the Atlanta, GA area with her motorcycle-instructor husband and a tank full of unruly saltwater critters.
Connect with Dianna on facebook at Dianna Love Fan Page or sign up for the crazy fun on her Dianna Love Street Team. Follow her Amazon Author Page for new release updates and other news about her books. Excerpts of all her books are at AuthorDiannaLove.com.
New York Times Bestseller Dianna Love wraps up the exciting Slye Temp romantic thriller series with Gage and Sabrina’s long awaited story.
Synopsis provided by Dianna Love for FATAL PROMISE
The last person Sabrina Slye wants on this mission is Gage Laughton, the one man capable of distracting her when a lack of attention will get them both killed.
A rogue CIA assassin has eluded Sabrina for two years after her team was traded for his life during a blown op. She turned her back on everyone in the agency. Who wouldn’t after that betrayal? A lead that sets her on the killer’s trail exposes the tip of a deadly international threat. Everyone in her world is at risk, including Gage, her one-time CIA handler … and former lover.
Gage has waged war on Sabrina’s emotional walls from the moment she surfaced again, determined to have her back in his arms. As one of the deadliest operatives alive, Sabrina bends to no one’s will, not even when Gage is trying to keep her alive. That won’t happen unless they can stop a megalomaniac from starting a third world war. The survival of her Slye agents and the future of the world depend upon Gage convincing Sabrina to trust him again with all that she protects, including her heart.
EXCERPT FROM FATAL PROMISE
by NYT Bestseller Dianna Love
Gage’s tone turned a shade dire. “Your name is surfacing in the wrong places. Someone is coming for you and it might be from inside our government. I can’t protect you out here in the open. I need you to go to a safe house with me.”
Was he serious? “Dream on,” she muttered.
“I’m not joking, Sabrina.” His voice dropped even lower. “Hell, we could be dealing with those fanatical Orion Hunters who’ve infiltrated the government.”
“Exactly, Gage.” She leaned in, tapping her index finger on the bar as she said, “I’m not about to hide somewhere and leave my team exposed.”
Hope jumped into his expression. “Not a problem. I’ll find places for them, too.”
She chuffed out a sarcastic laugh. “News flash. They don’t trust you and that’s just another reason you and I have no business trying to be together.”
He sat back, defeat clear in his face. “You’re a walking target and I don’t know who the enemy is, but you think it’s me.”
Why did he have to say crap like that? “I don’t think you’re my enemy, Gage,” she countered softly.
“Yes you do, Sabrina. You’ve spent your entire life operating with one set of criteria. Someone is either on your team or not. I’m clearly not, as far you’re concerned.”
It didn’t help that he was right. Her insides had turned into a battlefield where her heart waged war against her mind and her other organs were quickly becoming unavoidable casualties.
Gage cared for her.
She knew it logically and heard the sincerity in his voice, but those were just words. Dingo and Josh had grown up on the streets with her. They’d stepped into any fight and shared everything they’d had with her even if it was one slice of bread to feed the three of them.
Even all these years later, they’d never used the L word with each other because love was only a word. What they had was stronger than anything you could put into words.
Gage had never understood their bond and never would.
This was why she had to be the strong one right now.
One day, either she or Gage would not come home.
She didn’t want to be the one left behind, not by this man, and she couldn’t continue half in and half out of a relationship any longer.
He reached over and grasped her hand. All her convictions wobbled on their unsteady foundation, but the truth pushed its way forward.
All they had were stolen moments here and there.
That wasn’t a relationship.
Standing up, she pulled out of his grip and slipped the purse strap over her shoulder, which reminded her why she’d come here to begin with—a phony snitch meeting that he’d set up.
All her unsteadiness fled. She put steel in her voice and said, “I’m through talking. Stay out of my way and don’t ever screw with one of my snitches again.”
He gave her a confused look. “What snitch?”
Gage shook his head. “Not following you.”
Blood rushed through her so quickly the sound roared in her ears, blocking the noise of the restaurant. She took in the place with one sweeping scan then turned to him. “How did you know I was here?”
She dropped her head down and her voice came out in a low growl of warning. “Just fucking answer me for once.”
He blinked at her rare curse. “I tailed your car from the airport. Picked you up leaving your office.”
Her face chilled with a clammy feeling. “You didn’t set this up with someone for me to meet you here?”
“No.” He was stone-cold serious now. “What’s up, Sabrina. Talk to me.”
She wanted to swipe the glasses off the bar and knock him off that stool. He’d screwed up her meeting with the contact. Her anger rose with the power of a tidal wave, threatening to kill everything in its path.
Sucking in a deep breath, she said, “Don’t call me. Don’t come near me and don’t you dare ever walk up to me uninvited again.”
“Who were you expecting to meet here?” Gage was looking around, now up to speed on what he’d cost her.
“None of your damn business.” She strode away, leaving him in a wake of her fury. He’d better stay the hell away before another word could be spoken.
If not, she’d say something she’d live to regret.
Outside, the street life had picked up with the approach of prime-time dinner hour.
Sabrina wove in and out of groups, then she picked up speed going downhill toward Peachtree Street, swinging into her parking deck.
When she made it to the third floor, she hurried off the elevator and turned to the right. Her car was eight spaces down.
The lights on that end of the parking deck were out.
She’d arrived before they came on, so she had no idea if that was normal or not.
Drawing her 9 mm, she crossed her arms to keep it shielded as she walked toward her car. She watched and listened for any hint of threat, keeping to the middle of the lane between the lines of parked cars.
A raspy voice called out in a sharp whisper, “Over here!”
Damn. Sometimes she hated to be right.
She turned to find a hunched-over figure emerging from shadows where nothing had been a second ago. A plump, elderly woman shuffled forward. She favored her left arm, holding it tucked against her body as though it were injured. Sabrina believed that how much?
Not one bit.
The woman kept her voice down and moved forward two more steps, asking, “Who was that man? You were supposed to meet me.”
Sabrina held her position where she’d stopped two spaces from her car. The hinky feeling that had crept along her neck from the moment she’d stepped into the parking deck cranked up a notch.
She got right down to business. “I understand you have a location for me.”
“Yes. I … need the money. He’ll kill me if he finds out.” The woman kept moving slowly, limping actually, with her back to the light, which kept her face silhouetted. Had this woman been with Rikker? Had he abused her?
Sabrina said, “Stop.”
The woman complied, pausing ten feet away. She picked her head up and Sabrina could make out a plain face with dark-rimmed glasses.
When silence stretched too long in Sabrina’s mind, she said, “I have the money. Give me the location.”
Nodding slowly, the woman pulled her right hand away from where it had been hooked around her left arm, and lifted her head as she straightened her posture. She held a Walther PPK. Her voice was soft, but urgent. “Come with me quietly and nothing will happen to you.”
And yet again, she’d like to not be right.
Who had set this trap? Sabrina hadn’t been asked to hand over her weapon yet, so maybe this woman didn’t realize she was armed.
Had Rikker sent her?
Sabrina wanted to find out more before she might be pushed to use her weapon. She said, “I hate to disappoint you, but you’re leaving without me or the money. You can tell Ziggie he owes me for this.”
The woman dropped her voice to a whisper as if she thought someone was close enough to hear her low conversation. “Listen to me. You’re in dan—”
An explosion blasted.
The shock wave hit Sabrina in the back.
She flew across the parking deck and smacked into the windshield of a car. Glass cracked. She slumped down the hood.
She couldn’t feel anything. Bad sign. Her world faded to black.
Anna Campbell has written ten multi award-winning historical romances for Grand Central Publishing and Avon HarperCollins, and her work is published in seventeen languages. Anna has won numerous awards for her Regency-set stories including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill (three times), the Heart of Excellence (twice), the Write Touch, the Aspen Gold (twice) and the Australian Romance Readers Association’s favorite historical romance (five times). Anna is currently engaged in writing the “Dashing Widows” series, which started in 2015 with The Seduction of Lord Stone. She lives on the beautiful east coast of Australia where she writes full-time
The Seduction of Lord Stone (The Dashing Widows Book 1) by Anna Campbell is charming, seductive and absolutely sublime. Every time I sink into one of Anna’s books it gets better and better. This is no exception.
In her latest novella series it’s all about the widows, and these ladies are not your typical widows. After a loveless and non romantic marriage, widow Lady Caroline “Caro” Beaumont is desperate for love and excitement now more than ever. This time it will be on her own terms without the chains and legal commitment of marriage.
After all, she’s done duty and obligation. All it did was leave her with a void when her husband died. Now as a widow she has the power to change everything. If only fear wasn’t standing in the way.
Silas Nash, Viscount Stone, is shocked when his sisters friend confides key details of her newly devised plan for happiness. When Silas realizes that his feelings towards Caro are anything but friendly, it unhinges him. This devilishly handsome “stud” is sought after by many women of the ton and yet his desire is just set on one woman. When Caro insist on seducing his best friend will he survive the sordid details?
Can Silas win the heart of a woman who has no intentions of ever marrying again? With no strings and no attachment, can he persuade Caro to follow her heart?
Dear readers the payoff is perfect! Discover for yourself now and download this must read book that has passion, heat and lots of romance for just $0.99!
I was given this ARC by the author for a fair and honest review. This is one book that you won’t want to miss and a series that is a must read. Add it to your gift list, wish list and TBR pile now. As for the other two widows, I look forward to their journey too. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long.
Tempting Mr. Townsend (The Dashing Widows Book 2) by Anna Campbell is seductive, witty and even better than the first book in this must read series -and I LOVED The Dashing Widows Book 1! Every time I see one of Anna’s covers I’m giddy with excitement and anticipation, this one is no exception. Check out that beautiful rich blue!
In the series second installment, we reconnect with a widow who has grown and is not afraid to take risks, even if it means potentially damaging her reputation. There is a certain amount of power with that confidence and it makes our heroine strong, despite the obstacles she must overcome to find her happy ending. Five years is a long time to be in morning and Lady Fenella Deerham has only recently packed up her mourning clothes. Does this mean she is finally ready to move on? Perhaps all she needs is a little push?
Anthony Townsend has discovered that his nephew has disappeared from boarding school. Further news reveals the boy has run off with a school mate, so he heads straight to the poor boys home looking for answers. His arrival is unannounced, beastly and demanding.
Nothing can prepare Fenella for what charges through her door. The news that Fenella could lose her son is not an option, she must find him! Time is of the essence and she insists on joining Mr. Townsend in his search for the boys. She’s determined to go into the night with our without him. I love how Anthony and Fenella are brought together and the adventure that awaits. A journey with a stranger, oh how wicked Anna.
Lady Fenella will discover that it’s possible to find love twice if only she would give in to her feelings. One kiss will impact Fenella and she will need to make a decision that could change everything. Mr. Townsend has pushed her buttons and the game they play is intoxicating with tension, teasing and passion.
Every book Anna writes is satisfying and her characters are compelling and oh so charming! This novella sizzles and is the perfect way to spend a chilly afternoon warming up. There are a few surprises for readers and I was thrilled with this satisfying ending. Don’t miss out on this must read series perfectly priced at just $0.99. It’s time to discover a world of hope, adventure and love.
I was given this ARC by the author for a fair and honest review. I look forward to the widow’s we’ve yet to discover and their journey too! Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long, I hear the next book will be out later this spring.
Curzon Street, Mayfair, November 1820
“What the devil have you done with my ward, madam?”
Shocked, Fenella jerked her attention from the embroidery that she’d picked up to while away a rare quiet night at home.
Good heavens. A man the size of a mountain had invaded her drawing room.
An angry mountain.
Astonishment, rather than fear, was her immediate reaction. She slid her tambour frame onto the table beside her and straightened in her chair. “And who on earth are you?”
Greaves, her butler, rushed in with two brawny footmen looming behind him. “My lady, this fellow pushed his way into the house before I could stop him.”
The fellow clenched his huge fists at his sides and shot her servants a narrow-eyed glare. Despite their size, Tom and John faltered back.
Fenella could see why. The mysterious intruder looked ready to commit murder. Ready, and more than capable. His excellent tailoring did nothing to hide his impressive muscles and the breadth of shoulders and chest.
When he focused that searing stare on her, her stomach jumped with nerves. Was this some madman escaped from confinement? Although he didn’t look unhinged. Just furious.
“Don’t pretend you don’t know who I am,” the man said tersely, a northern accent edging his deep, resonant voice. “Just stop all this blasted nonsense and take me to the lad.”
Today we can finally read the latest in Anna Campbell’s must read Dashing Widows series. Anna has provided us a tease at what we can expect and an excerpt below!
All rakes are the same! Except when they’re not…
Spirited Helena, Countess of Crewe, knows all about profligate rakes; she was married to one for nine years and still bears the scars. Now this Dashing Widow plans a life of glorious freedom where she does just what she wishes – and nobody will ever hurt her again. So what is she to do when that handsome scoundrel Lord West sets out to make her his wife? Say no, of course. Which is fine, until West focuses all his sensual skills on changing her mind. And West’s sensual skills are renowned far and wide as utterly irresistible…
Vernon Grange, Lord West, has long been estranged from his headstrong first love, Helena Nash, but he’s always regretted that he didn’t step in to prevent her disastrous marriage. Now Helena is free, and this time, come hell or high water, West won’t let her escape him again. His weapon of choice is seduction, and in this particular game, he’s an acknowledged master. Now that he and Helena are under one roof at the year’s most glamorous house party, he intends to counter her every argument with breathtaking pleasure. Could it be that Lady Crewe’s dashing days are numbered?
Excerpt from Winning Lord West (Dashing Widows Book 3) Out 30th April
Richmond Park, London, May 1820
Lord West made an effort to lighten the tone. “I arranged this picnic purely for the pleasure of seeing you flying across the grass on the back of a galloping horse.”
Oh, dear, that wasn’t what Helena wanted to hear. She’d imagined he’d put this party together to further his pursuit of Caro. Helena didn’t want West noticing her. For years, he’d been content to treat her as a distant acquaintance. “Really?”
“Yes, really. It’s been a fancy of mine since I saw you restricted to a trot in Hyde Park. The experience was most uncongenial for an observer. You looked like someone was strangling you. Slowly.”
She frowned, resenting that West made her the focus of his attention. And that his conclusions were so accurate. “Town isn’t the place to ride neck or nothing. I’ll soon be back at Cranham.”
West signaled to a groom. “Such a pity.”
“That I’m leaving London?”
“No, that you don’t want a good gallop, when I went to such trouble to bring you a suitable mount—and a suitable saddle.”
The groom led a pretty chestnut mare toward them. Helena immediately noted the gleaming sidesaddle. Her hand curled at her side as if it already held a crop. Despite her misgivings about the man offering the favor, she itched to throw herself onto the lovely horse. The groom passed the reins to West, bowed and left.
West’s smile was mocking. “If you deny me, I’ll think that you don’t like me.”
She ran a gentle hand down the Arab’s jaw and bit back a sigh of longing. The mare truly was a darling. “I don’t.”
That wasn’t completely true. Her feelings for West had always been more complex than mere antipathy. When they were children, he’d been her hero. Shreds of that fondness lingered, although she’d long ago recognized that he was cut from the same cloth as her depraved husband.
She studied West, as with unconvincing nonchalance, Silas wandered off in Caro’s direction. “You don’t believe me?”
West shrugged. “Explaining exactly what I believe requires more time and privacy than we now enjoy. Even if you insist on seeing me as the enemy, I hope you’ll still accept Artemis as a gift.”
“Gift?” Helena stared at him, appalled. “What on earth do you mean? I can’t take such an extravagant present. Have some sense, West.”
He stood unmoved by her refusal, tall and lean in his immaculate dark green coat and fawn breeches. “Nonetheless, she’s yours.”
“That’s…” Helena struggled to understand what lay behind this ridiculous and inappropriate gesture. West had been out in society all his adult life. He knew how the world would interpret his generosity.
His gaze remained unwavering on her face. “Yes.”
“Yes, what?” she snapped, although she had a sinking feeling she knew.
“Yes, it’s a declaration of intentions.”
Horror flooded her. She faltered back across the grass as if he’d made an unwelcome physical advance. “This isn’t funny.”
“I’m deadly serious.”
“Then you’re wasting your time.” She straightened and glared at him. Her mind worked a thousand miles an hour to make sense of this abrupt alteration in their dealings. “I was a rake’s wife. Be damned if I’ll be a rake’s mistress.”
(** re-posted from 4/30/16)
Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.
When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music.
A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.
SPIRIT FALL, BOOK ONE:
His moody introspections had allowed something other than his feet to dictate his impending destination. The blocks and buildings melted into the darkness until he arrived on the edge of Balboa Park. Now this place was more like it. He enjoyed the park. Its neatly trimmed grassy flats surrounded by ancient shade trees, sprinkled with historic museums and architectural landmarks, sprawled across a couple miles in the heart of the city. The park had a much friendlier feel than New York’s Central Park, but it still gave any visitor the impression of being in a place other than a congested city.
The hour was late, well after one in the morning, so the grounds were pretty much empty. Except for one lone figure, partially obscured by a copse of eucalyptus trees, standing against the bridge barricade. The figure was small, perhaps a teenager looking for a lost skateboard. Kai watched for a few moments until, to his horror, the figure climbed onto the ledge.
Was this for real?
He allowed a split second to pass before he moved to the bridge. Trees and houses rushed by in a blurred blink before he appeared a few feet away from the person whose desperation poured out from their very skin. He could almost taste the emotion in the air, bittersweet misery tempered with the salt of unshed tears.
An unfamiliar energy began to pulsate just beneath his skin, and he paused as he experienced an unfamiliar sensation. Silence. For so many years, the hum of scattered thoughts from passing strangers had kept him mental company. Could this be real? Could she be the one?
His mind raced, trying to find a way to halt the jumper, searching for the right thing to say.
Kai reached out to gently touch the worn-out running shoe nearest to his hand. His gaze journeyed up to find the face of a young girl, her thick, wavy hair pulled into a haphazard ponytail, and her eyes closed in preparation for an untimely demise. Her body was just beginning to show curves. Small, high breasts and shapely legs were concealed by the thin clothes. No. That couldn’t be right. He’d been paired with a child?
His voice must have caught her by surprise, judging by the jolt that lanced down her body. Eyes flitted behind closed lids as her chin twitched in his direction.
“What? Why?” Her voice was weak and confused.
“Because I asked nicely?”
He kept his eyes trained on her profile, carefully watching her inner struggle play across her face. Through the light contact with her body, he was able to pick up on her troubled, swirling emotions. His appearance had shaken her resolve. Still, her eyes remained shut.
“Why should you care? You don’t even know me. Now just leave me alone.”
The spite in her voice seemed forced and insincere. He sensed she was a kind person by nature. Kind, but very disheartened. The more he heard her speak, the more he realized his initial guess at her age was off by a few years. Early twenties, perhaps. The tone was deeper and richer than most of the women he’d encountered in the city, conjuring images of Lauren Bacall and other seductresses of film noir. He needed to keep her talking. More than that, he had to stop her from killing herself. If his instincts were right, she was the other half of his spirit, and he was not about to let her go in this manner.
“True,” he sighed. “But still, I did ask nicely.” He leaned casually against the concrete barrier, hoping he might get close enough to grab for her should she decide to go through with her plunge. She looked small; it would be easy enough to pull her down. But somehow, Kai suspected that wouldn’t stop her from trying again on another night.
“Give me a reason.”
The voice sounded thin and breathy, hollow and empty. Most likely from disuse, but he detected traces of a different person than the one perched upon this ledge. Faint whispers of faded laughter and lost smiles echoed in the distant background, dimmed by despair and gloom. Loose strands of deep chestnut hair whipped around to reveal hints of pale skin, natural and unkissed by the sun. Slender and youthful in appearance, she was petite in every way, with small curves above and below the waist.
No. The longer he studied her, the more he realized her body was strong, athletic, and still entirely feminine. His efforts seemed to be wearing her down. She would have jumped already if she were truly determined.
He thought carefully before he responded.
“I can think of about a million of them, but somehow I’m not sure I’ll pick the right one for you on the first try.”
Great. All the Good Samaritans out there and she got a comedian.
SPIRIT BOUND, BOOK TWO:
“Calliope, I have something to ask you. If you choose not to answer, I will understand.”
She leaned in, resting the Red Tale Ale bottle on the counter for a heartbeat. “Wow. You used my full name. This must really be important.”
Her apprehensive smile did not fool Galen; he had sensed her trepidation before the bottle touched down. He reached across the Formica barrier, covering her hand with his. “I do not mean to frighten you. If you would rather not…”
Cal’s smile stunned him into silence. “You have been amazing to me, Galen. I think you’re entitled to a couple of answers.” She looked up, her dazzling green eyes pinning him with a serious stare. “But I might have a few questions of my own.”
“Quid pro quo?” he asked, quirking an eyebrow.
She nodded. “Definitely. Like, what does that word mean?”
His brow furrowed at her odd query. “What word?”
Lifting the brown bottle to her mouth, she mumbled around the lip of the bottle as if afraid she was going to botch the pronunciation. “Um, that, uh, a-ag…”
He chuckled lightly as she tripped over the familiar phrase. “You mean ‘agapi’?”
Sighing with a smile, she nodded. “Yeah, that’s the word.”
“It is simply a term of endearment in my native language,” he answered with a smile. “I hope you don’t mind.”
Her silent answer appeared as a tempting blush, pinking her cheeks, as an innocent grin melted across her face.
His eyes drank her in, his heart filling with a loving pride. The corners of his lips curled up as her eyes sparkled with emerald fire. Those evil men tried to break her, tried to take her away from him. Never again would anyone bring her harm. The thought clanged around his head, the edge of his smile faltering.
Her eyebrows pulled together as he let his anger slip out of his grip. “Gee, I’d hate to be on the receiving end of that glare.”
His rage disappeared in the blink of an eye, his gaze softening as he captured her hand. “Agapi mou, you need never fear that. For those who have felt my anger never do so again.” Bringing her hand to his lips, he brushed a tender kiss along the rapid pulse at her wrist. “But my question, I hope, will not cause you alarm.” He sat patiently, giving her time to change her mind.
She exhaled in a huff, her short locks swaying from side to side. “Nah, I should be good, I hope.” She lifted her gaze, her bright green eyes wary but willing. “OK. Let’s hear it.”
Galen threaded his fingers through hers and phrased his query as delicately as he could. “While I was healing you, I sensed something was very wrong.” He paused, gauging her response. When he met silence, he pressed on. “And twice, you tried to awaken too early into your healing rest. Is there something that stops you from sleeping?”
A sad smile graced her full lips, her eyes slipping away from his face. “Yeah, about that…” Gnawing her bottom lip, she paused and studied the floor, as if searching for the best way to explain her situation. “Well, straight answer? I’m dying.”
He blinked at the words hanging suspended between them. “I’m sorry, but did you just say…?”
Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States. Come visit Naima at https://www.naimasimone.com.
Only for a Night by Naima Simone is a short and steamy read that answers the question, is it possible that a bad boy can reform and have the one thing he’s never waivered on, the shy girl he lusted after in school?
Rion Ward is not the same guy that Harper Shaw once knew. Now she’s come back and discovered that he can give her everything she wants. Can they agree to just one night together? Who will crave more? What will happen when Harper craves more? Will Rion finally be able to give her what she desires?
Naima is a master at the sensual and larger than life characters that leave you begging for more! This is a very steamy start to a new series and I look forward to the next installment.
Proceed with caution, this three pepper spicy latte must read is pretty hot and may offend. For mature readers 18+.
I received this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.
Excerpt (*edited for posting on the blog by the author*):
“What are you doing here?” The deep, midnight voice sliced through the memories, and Harper willingly locked the vault on them. Rion’s velvet tone slid over her exposed skin like a velvet caress, resonating in her chest, curling in her belly—and lower. “I asked you a question,” he said, the demand silky but no less menacing.
“I-I came here to speak with y-you,” she stammered. God, she sounded like an idiot. “I hoped we could talk.”
A black eyebrow arched high. “Talk,” he enunciated, a corner of his sensual mouth curling into a faintly sardonic sneer. “What could you and I possibly have to talk about?”
“I—” She peered over his shoulder, for the first time noticing the blond giant standing behind Rion. Sasha. Sasha Merchant. A close friend of Rion’s. “Would you mind if we… Can we speak in private?”
She reeled back on her death-defying heels, teetering before grabbing the table tighter. “No?” she repeated. Seconds of silence passed between them. Irritation warred with mortification, and she tilted her chin in spite of the heat rushing up her throat and into her face. “That’s it? Just no?”
She sighed, exasperated. “Rion…”
“Go home,” he interrupted, the order unyielding, hard. Dismissive.
“Rion, please,” she murmured, cringing at the plea that crept into her voice.
“Sasha, would you mind escorting her safely to her car?” He turned, again disregarding her without hearing her out.
Anger shoved the hurt aside, surging hot and hard inside her. She’d been dismissed, shelved, or patronized too often in her life. She’d also been mute, opting to remain silent, not rock the boat. Not voice her needs, her wants…her desires. Well, that time had passed.
She was tired of living—no, existing—in a cocoon that was supposed to be safe but was really suffocating.
And he didn’t get to push her back into that cocoon.
Aiming a dark scowl at Rion, Sasha stepped forward, his hand extended toward her. “Sorry, sweetheart—”
“Wait a minute,” she snarled, skirting past Sasha and latching onto Rion’s arm, ignoring the sexy flex of muscle beneath her fingers and palm. Rion froze, probably in surprise rather than from her hold. “We were friends for a long time. Too long for you to just toss me aside like a stranger. Okay it’s been five years since we’ve seen one another. You can at least give me five seconds.”
Slowly, Rion pivoted, dislodging her hand. Staring up into his lean face with its stark lines and stormy eyes, she shivered. Fear had picked a fine time to remind her the absolute stupidity of stirring a predator.
“Five seconds.” He slid his hands in his pants pockets.
“Thank you.” She sighed, relieved. “If we could just—”
“Three,” he stated, his tone past bored and veering into catatonic.
“I need you,” she blurted. Damn. Oh God. Just…damn.
His eyes narrowed. “What do you need me for?”
“I can’t—” Panic crawling up her throat, she shot a glance at Sasha who didn’t even pretend not to be absorbed with the scene playing out before him. “Rion,” she whispered.
“Damn it. Sex. I need you for sex.”
For the first time, Rion lost his stoicism, shock widening his eyes and parting his lips. Beside him, Sasha sounded as if he were being strangled, and her? She squeezed her eyes shut, flames bursting inside her, consuming her in a conflagration of humiliation. Jesus Christ. Was death by mortification possible?