Need some Valentine love?
How about a box of Cowboys?
Catch a cowboy … Keep a cowboy …
Don’t miss this great collection from USA Today, Amazon Bestselling, and Award-Winning authors!!
Buy it Today!!
Need some Valentine love?
How about a box of Cowboys?
Catch a cowboy … Keep a cowboy …
Don’t miss this great collection from USA Today, Amazon Bestselling, and Award-Winning authors!!
Buy it Today!!
Who wouldn’t love a romance that ends on the best holiday of the year? Check out Book of Love, by Constance Bretes
A librarian, a mechanic, and a psychotic ex. What could go wrong?
When her marriage came to a devastating end, Janice Meyers moved to Montana to try to escape her past and get a fresh start. She’s sworn off men, but she didn’t anticipate meeting Chris.
After the death of his wife, Chris Jamisen focused all his time and energy on running his auto repair shop and raising his children. He’s not looking for love, and when he first meets Janice, the town’s new librarian, he never imagines they might embark on a relationship. Sure, he’ll admit he finds the smart, sexy blonde attractive, but the frustrating woman expects miracles from him. Her vehicle is practically beyond repair, but she insists he has to keep it running.
As Chris gets to know Janice, he begins to develop feelings for her, but he’s reluctant to pursue a relationship. He’s Native American, and he worries about the complications of a biracial relationship. He’s experienced prejudice first hand, so he knows how difficult it can be.
When Janice’s ex-husband shows up seeking revenge, things could reach a horrible end. Will Chris save Janice in time? And will he and Janice be able to set aside their painful pasts and give their relationship a chance?
Content Warning: contains some sexual content
Janice had butterflies in her stomach as five o’clock came and Chris arrived at the library.
“Hi, Chris,” Janice said.
“Hello. What’s this all about?” he asked pensively.
“I wanted to take you downstairs to the basement and show you something,” she said.
They walked down the stairs, Chris following Janice. When she turned on the light a rat slithered across the floor, and she let out a shriek. Chris looked around the room.
“We have all these books here,” Janice said. She lifted one of the old books and opened it to the pages and within where some were eaten away. “The vermin and bugs have been attacking these, and in some cases, the books have disintegrated. See here? This is a book about Colstrip back in the 1800s and we can’t even open the book to read it because it has totally disintegrated inside. Some of these books are real gems. This is one of a first edition, Samuel Clemens, do you know of him?”
“His pen name is Mark Twain. He wrote Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.”
“Oh,” Chris replied.
“Look at his book. It’s totally destroyed, and it would have been worth a lot of money now, if it had survived.”
Janice went over to the ladder and stepped up on it to show Chris the books on the top shelf. The ladder gave way, and she came crashing down. Chris caught her before she fell to the floor.
“Are you okay?” he asked, concern in his tone.
“Um, yeah, I think so.” She put her feet on the floor and turned, facing Chris, her breasts against his chest. His arms were around her waist, holding her tightly. His breath mingled with hers, and he was looking down at her lips.
Oh, she wanted him to kiss her. Please, please kiss me. The sweet, intoxicating musk of his body overwhelmed her. He bent slightly toward her, and his lips touched hers softly. She kissed him back, lingering, savoring every moment. She felt the kiss all the way through her body as she put her arms around him. A loud rustling noise broke their kiss with a start.
Chris looked around and saw that there were rats in the corner rattling paper. He turned back to her. “Are we finished here?”
“Yes, I think we are.” Janice hoped she had convinced him that there was work to be done in the basement.
When they went upstairs, he turned around and asked her huskily, “What was the purpose of our little meeting, Janice?”
Janice thought about how she should answer the question then said, “I submitted the request to the mayor’s office for several things, and I heard that you would probably be the one person that would oppose spending any money for the project I’m suggesting, so I wanted to show you the benefit of my proposal and the problems we are faced with currently.”
Chris had a gentle smile on his face as he looked at her. “Good persuasion, Janice. Does that include the kiss too?”
Janice looked down at her feet, embarrassed. “No, the kiss was not part of the persuasion. At least, not on my part.”
Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She’s married to her best friend and resides in Michigan with him and a houseful of cats. When she’s not at her regular 8-to-5 job, she can be found writing, researching, and spending time with her husband.
You can learn more about Connie and her books at her website at www.constancebretes.com You can also follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/conniebretes or Twitter at www.twitter.com/connstancebretes. Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7737457.Constance_Bretes
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today, Devon!
Perfectly Christmas is a contemporary romantic comedy. It’s stand-alone holiday romance about two doctors in a small town and the crazy balancing act between work and love. To add to the mayhem – the townsfolk don’t want to lose their only family doctor, so they’re working behind the scenes to keep Madison and Quinn apart!
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Perfectly-Christmas-Linda-OConnor-ebook/dp/B01MYW5T7X
Thanks for checking it out. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Perfectly Christmas Blurb:
On the first day of Christmas, his true love said to him, “Sorry, I have to work.” That’s the life of a surgeon, and Dr. Madison Hayes wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dr. Quinn Malone has another priority. In the countdown to Christmas, he needs to convince his old flame that there’s more to life – and love – than the job itself.
This time, his heart is in it for the long haul. Really.
Romantic and . . . complicated – it’s Perfectly Christmas!
Peggy stopped at the door. “Oh, one more thing. Did you want to be a part of the office Secret Santa? We pick names out of a hat, and each day during the twelve days of Christmas someone opens a gift.” She grinned. “Technically, we know, the twelve days of Christmas starts on December twenty-fifth, but we use it as a countdown to Christmas. We have a lot of fun with it.”
Madison hesitated. She wasn’t really big into exchanging presents. Stuff you didn’t need and wanted less. But Peggy and Nina were looking at her like it was the best thing ever.
Small town. Two years. Try to fit in. She sighed. She could always ask her sister for suggestions. “Okay, yeah. Sounds fun.” Translation: stressful.
Peggy’s grin widened. “I’ll be right back.”
After a moment, Peggy returned carrying a Christmas bag. She shook it and paper rustled inside. “Here you go. Pick one, but don’t tell us.”
Madison held back a sigh, reached in the bag, and picked out a piece of paper.
She unfolded it and her heart sank.
Quinn Malone. Dec. 24.
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Perfectly-Christmas-Linda-OConnor-ebook/dp/B01MYW5T7X
Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories 😀 ). She hangs out at www.lindaoconnor.net.
Laugh every day. Love every minute.
Linda loves to connect with readers. You can follow her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor or Twitter https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98 and check out all of her books on her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA
Today on the Happy Holidays Tour, I have Tina Gayle who is showcasing her romance the Marketing Exec’s Widow
with a delicious recipe for peach cobbler.
Quick Peach Cobbler
1 large can of peaches
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 box of vanilla wafers
1/4 cup of butter
Preheat the oven to 350. Pour can peaches, sugar, and cinnamon in a casserole dish large enough to hold everything I use the 2quart size. After stirring these items together, then add most of the box of vanilla wafers, set enough aside to pull on top. Once you have the wafers arranged on top, slice the butter in to small pieces and set on top of the wafers. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve with ice cream or whipping cream.
One fatal car wreck…
Everyone’s lives changed…
Blurb — “Marketing Exec’s Widow”
Letting go and rebuilding a life comes at a price.
Having come to terms with losing her husband, Jennifer is ready to move on, but she faces opposition from her friends, in-laws, and brother-in-la. He see himself as her future husband. None of them know of Jen’s marital problems and she is afraid of their reaction when they learn she has a date for Friday night?
Hagan Chaney is not anything like Craig. He tempts Jen into the future but is she willing to give love another chance after the heartache she faced the 1st time around?
“Thank you.” Jen tilted her head and narrowed her gaze. His tall, lean form topped hers even with three-inch heels on, a welcome rarity from the men she usually met. In addition, he had strawberry-blond hair, a known weakness of hers. The reddish-gold locks danced along the collar of his black shirt, teasing her with the idea of running her hands through the thick mass. Her fingers twitched. She dropped her gaze. Tight jeans covered a round, squeezable butt. Hot awareness suddenly sizzled, stunning Jen with its power. She knotted her hands into fists and fought the unwelcome attraction.
“Elkhorn’s main street isn’t large, but the Little League baseball field and the restaurants should attract people to the area.” Hagan’s dark brown…no, hazel, his eyes were hazel she realized abruptly when his gaze met hers. He cocked a brow. A sexy smile teased the corner of his lips. Oh, darn, the man had nailed her ogling his backside.
Heat burned her cheeks. The air between them sizzled. Goose bumps popped out on her arms. Her internal timer ticked off each day she’d gone without sex—well over a year.
His smile grew wider and visions of his mouth melting onto hers slammed home the impossibility of the situation.
She swallowed and searched the room for a distraction, some way to gain control of her raging hormones and maintain the professional image she’d strived so hard to develop the last five years. “I agree. It is in a great location.”
An author with over 30 books, Tina Gayle writes in a number of different genres: Romantic contemporary (as Tina Gayle) and Erotic Romance. Her books range from contemporary, paranormal to mystery and suspense
As an indie author, she has worked hard to have a social presence and reach her readers. You can visit her website and read the 1st chapter of any of her books. Or you can download a free ebook and join her newsletter group.
Find Tina Gayle everywhere
Home – www.tinagayle.net
Blog – www.tinagayle.blogspot.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle
Today on the Happy Holiday tour, I ‘m spotlighting the talented Author Robin Michaela and her new release, The Santa Bargain.
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today, Devon!
The Santa Bargain is my new release. It’s a contemporary romance about a relationship-phobic single mom and the equally commitment-shy guy who agrees to be Santa in their small town’s holiday parade. In order to get Joe to agree, though, Maria has to strike a bargain that promises to heat up the holidays.
The Santa Bargain is on sale for $0.99 on Amazon through the holidays or you can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077996MP2).
I hope everyone’s holidays are merry and bright!
The Santa Bargain
Santa’s gifts can be both naughty…and nice.
Coffeehouse entrepreneur, Maria Thompson, has sworn off men ever since her young son’s father walked out of their lives. But, when she literally runs into sexy carpenter, Joe Sinclair, she wonders if it’s time to rethink her plan.
Joe Sinclair doesn’t need or want romance or a family. He was raised in the foster care system and learned long ago not to get attached to anyone. Now, if he could just remember that, he could put the sensual owner of Copper River, Colorado’s new coffee shop out of his mind.
After Maria and Joe volunteer to work together on the town’s first Christmas festival, their attraction lights up brighter than a new a string of holiday lights. When Santa comes to town, will they finally find everything they’ve ever wished for under the tree?
Every warning she’d ever heard about people texting and not paying attention to where they were going hurtled through Maria Thompson’s mind in the seconds after she buried her face in the man’s muscular pecs. Her phone catapulted from her grasp but she barely registered that fact. She also didn’t catch the sound it made when it hit the concrete because her hearing was muffled by the sinewy arm that shot out and wrapped around her head, pressing her even harder against the guy’s decidedly powerful chest.
Instinctively, she reached out to brace herself, then felt a blaze of heat course through her body when her hands splayed against his muscular thighs.
Best. Day. Ever.
A flash of desire spiked along her nerve endings. Even though she really should back away, she couldn’t stop herself from inhaling a deep breath. His masculine scent – wood shavings with a hint of spicy aftershave – nearly made her moan.
“Wow,” she heard herself say. So, apparently her mouth still worked even though her brain had momentarily gone off line. Still, it would have been nice to have said something a little more intelligent.
“”Wow” about sums it up,” Sexy Pecs agreed. He let go of her head, allowing her to back away before the rest of her body melted into a puddle at his feet.
“Sorry…I’m really sorry,” Maria sputtered, her face burning. “I was checking my texts and—”
His gorgeous blue eyes glinted mischievously as he grinned down at her from two rungs up on the step ladder. “No problem. I probably wouldn’t object if you wanted to run into me again.”
Well, she wouldn’t object much either. Okay, not at all.
On sale for $0.99 at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077996MP2.
Robin Michaela has been reading romances since her teen years, when she first snuck her aunt’s copy of The Flame and the Flower, by Kathleen Woodiwiss.
She’s married to her own Handsome Prince (a military airman) and has lived everywhere from the sunny shores of Florida to the wild crags of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. By day, she’s a dental hygienist and by night, Robin can be found eating chocolate, training for her next half marathon, and crafting her next novel (although not necessarily in that order).
Robin’s stories have been called “a simply delicious escape”. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her website (www.robinmichaela.com). You can also follow her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RobinMichaelaRomances) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/robinsromances
I’m thrilled to be featured as a guest blogger on Bonnie Phelps, Author blog today. I’m sharing the first kiss between Violet Webster and Garrett Sutherlin from my Historical Romance novel, “Lead Me Into Temptation.” Hop on over and check it out. #FirstKissFriday #HistoricalRomance DevonMcKay #LeadMeIntoTemptation
Today on the Happy Holiday tour, I have Kris Bock and her 0.99 cent romance, Whispers In the Dark.
Whispers in the Dark:
Young archeologist Kylie Hafford heads to the remote Puebloan ruins of Lost Valley, Colorado, to excavate. Her first exploration of the crumbling ruins ends in a confrontation with a gorgeous, angry man who looks like a warrior from the Pueblo’s ancient past. If only Danesh weren’t so aggravating… and fascinating. Then she literally stumbles across Sean, a charming, playful tourist. His attentions feel safer, until she glimpses secrets he’d rather keep hidden.
The summer heats up as two sexy men pursue her. She finds mysteries – and surprising friendships – among the other campground residents. Could the wide-eyed woman and her silent children be in the kind of danger all too familiar to Kylie?
Mysterious lights, murmuring voices, and equipment gone missing plague her dig. A midnight encounter sends Kylie plummeting into a deep canyon. She’ll need all her strength and wits to survive. Everything becomes clear: if she wants to save the man she’s come to love and see the villains brought to justice, she must face her demons and fight.
Whispers in the Dark is action-packed romantic suspense set in the Four Corners region of the Southwest. This title stands alone and is not part of a series.
“This book kept me turning pages until the end. The plot was full of twists and turns, always keeping the reader rooting for the heroine. Excellent read!” Reader Suzanne Borchers
Whispers in the Dark is on sale Nov. 19-24 – only 99 cents for the Kindle! Get it now!
Chapter 1 Excerpt:
I hit something, bounced, scraped, and finally landed with a thud that rattled my whole body.
What had I gotten myself into?
I closed my eyes. Yes, I was driving, but a moment of distraction seemed safe enough, since I hadn’t seen another car in half an hour. Even the jackrabbits and rattlesnakes were hiding in the shade, leaving the road clear of everything but rocks and ruts.
I was starting an adventure. I had to remind myself of that – an adventure. I wanted to be here. I wanted to get away from the city, the classroom and office, the people. You couldn’t get much farther away than this, a tiny cluster of seven-hundred-year-old ruins in the Four Corners area of the Southwest. I had found the middle of nowhere.
As I had wanted, I reminded myself.
The car bumped into a pothole and my head smacked back on the headrest. Maybe I needed to pay more attention to the road after all. I had almost gotten used to the constant vibration from the rough dirt track, but I still got an occasional surprise from potholes as big as wading pools and ridges the size of speed bumps.
The vast landscape drew my attention, the open space leaving me a bit breathless, a reverse of claustrophobia. At a glance the scene lacked color, a wash of parched tan that spoke of emptiness, drought, death. I clenched the steering wheel and breathed deeply through my nose to filter out the dust pouring through the open window. I’d shut off the air-conditioning hours ago to keep my wreck from overheating.
It wasn’t like I’d have to live in this dusty wasteland forever. I wanted to test myself in unfamiliar terrain, face life head-on, and prove I had healed. Then I could go back to normal life, stronger and ready to face more ordinary challenges. I didn’t have to love it here; I only had to survive.
But my eyes, adapted to New England’s green trees and grass, slowly started to appreciate this different palette. A painter probably could have named a dozen shades of brown, along with the soft reds – gentle shades of pink and orange and rust and purple – from the sandstone mesas. The scant vegetation added muted, dusty green. The rare patch of yellow wildflowers looked shockingly bright. And above it all lay the vast sky, incredibly blue and so bright it hurt my eyes to look up, even with sunglasses.
I gave a low whistle. “You’re not in Boston anymore.”
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page.
Kris lives in New Mexico, where she enjoys hiking, watching the sunset from her patio, and hanging out with her husband and their ferrets. Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Victoria Holt will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog
Today I have my spotlight on Unholy Alliance by Kathleen Rowland who says, “Thanks a bunch for hosting me for the Happy Holiday exchange.”
Kathleen loves the process of writing and never rushes it with abandon. She wants her characters and their stories to resonate and please readers. Unholy Alliance is the second book of the Donahue Cousins Series. A third is in the works.
A decade ago, Tori Rourke, and her cousin, Vivienne, ran from the Irish mob after witnessing a brutal murder. Tori was framed by the mob, and while she served time in prison, she worried that the killer, Seamus McGinn, had kidnapped her missing cousin.
Attorney Grady D. Fletcher, defender of the wrongly condemned, appeals Tori’s case and wins her release. Now, going by Victoria Morningstar, she runs a food truck from a seedy waterfront neighborhood, hoping to find her cousin’s kidnapper.
When Grady agrees to defend a new client, Samuel Peterson, who’s been accused of beating to death the wife of a noted professor, the evidence mounts. The professor is missing, as well as his laptop that contains data dangerous to national security.
And Seamus McGinn is back, and rumors of a massive annihilation is about to begin. As they race to assist the FBI, the bonds between Grady and Tori are about to be tested. It becomes clear Grady and Tori are falling fast for each other, but what to do about it is a different story. He’s a divorced dad who wants more time with his kid. She brings danger to his front door.
Grady has questions of his own; Is Vivienne at the center of the mob’s operation? How much will it cost Tori before she learns the truth? All Grady knows is the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
* * *
“Hey friends, I’m sending this excerpt, a thingy that takes place when Tori invites Grady to visit her food truck, Deep Fried to Taste. Ta! Hope you like him.”
Grady double-arm waved at her. It was as if he were a two-dimensional character in a dream. Handsome. As upstanding as any man could be. Her legs gave way. The figure in the distance did that, and she grabbed the counter. Dizzy and short of breath, she chastised herself for holding on to the romantic notions she fantasized about a hundred times a day. She stuck her head out the window. “I’m coming out.”
Grady met her on the stairs and offered a hand. The closer he got, the harder it was to concentrate on stepping down. His killer smile showed off two sexy dimples when he said, “It’s noon.”
“Good noon to you.” She gulped. Readying herself for conversation, she took his hand, rose on her toes, and sniffed. “Hmmm, what is that? Shaving lotion? Man perfume?”
He chuckled, and a weird electric awareness went off in her chest. In slow motion, it cracked open slowly, sent out sparkly runners to forgotten girl parts, and pulsed there.
She pulled her shoulders back and lifted her chin. Their gazes locked. Her hair loosened from her bandana. “Drat, I’m a chef. Hair is supposed to stay put.” She took it off, placed the center of the bandana on the nape of her neck and tied a knot on the top of her head.
He reached to help tuck the ends under. “You’re so darn cute.”
“Oooo, that scent. Are you going to tell me what it is?”
“Eau des Baux Eau.” The warm, deep sound of his voice sent more sensations of want right through her. Behind him, the sun stretched a bit higher and seemed to shine just on him. “You like it?”
“I sure do. Vanilla. You smell like a cookie.” Her heart thudded harder than it should.
“Do you like cookies?” He bent his head for a kiss.
She kissed Mr. Good Noon with the wavy reddish-brown hair and body made to lose sleep over. Her breath hitched, and she took a step back from heartbreak. No reason to set sights on a man way out of her league. The glow dimmed, and the warmth backed off. “Care to look at my menu?” She stepped closer to the blackboard.
“Now you’re speaking my language. I’m starving.” He raised his eyebrows and the corners of his mouth lifted. “Pimento cheeseburger corn dog.”
“That’s my great food mash-up.”
“I can see why. It blends two favorites, the cheeseburger, and the corn dog.
* * *
All purchase links are below:
Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X9DY642
For all others, look here: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Rowland_Kathleen/unholy-alliance.htm
Meet the author, Kathleen Rowland, and her dark and dangerous world of romantic suspense.
Award-winning author Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Writing a romantic suspense series for Tirgearr Publishing, Deadly Alliance is followed by Unholy Alliance. Bittersweet Alliance in the works. Keep an icy drink handy while reading these sizzling romantic thrillers.
Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels. She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.
Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write. If you’d enjoy secrets behind books, signup for Kathleen’s newsletter on her website:
Today on the Happy Holiday tour, I have Author Ronnie Allen showcasing her book, Scorpio The Sign Behind The Crime Book 3.
This sounds like a great read! Hope you enjoy.
The Sign Behind The Crime
Dr. John Trenton is called back to NYC for a case close to his heart, while NYPD Detective Samantha “Sam” Wright and Dr. Frank Khaos, conflicted about their on-again-off-again relationship, take on another case—a serial killer who’s orchestrated sixteen murders across the United States over a nine-year period. The seventeenth victim is Sam’s best friend, Carrie Baines. When forensic science connects Frank to Slater, Frank is pushed to delve into his past, something he swore never to do. Meanwhile, due to the interstate nature of the crimes the FBI gets involved, convincing Sam to go undercover. But Slater is clever, and Sam is no match for him. Will her psychic skills and police training be enough to survive this close encounter with a killer, or will she end up as his eighteenth victim? And even if she lives, is her relationship with Frank really over?
His reaction took her totally by surprise. How could he do this to her?
“Any more good news?” The sarcasm rolled off his tongue. “That’s not what I’m concerned with.”
“The way he looked at you.”
“Don’t worry about it. We’re adults here.”
“Frank, please. Can’t you deal with this?”
He did a double take. “Know what, Sam? No. I can’t. And I didn’t realize you’re so emotionally disconnected.” He checked the clock and blew out a deep breath. “As soon as it hits daylight, I think it’s best that you go back to your place.” He rolled over onto his left side, his back facing her.
“What are you saying, Frank?”
He barely turned his head. “Use your psychic intuition to figure out what I’m saying.”
“You’re breaking up with me?”
“I think we need to distance ourselves. It’s been too hot and heavy these past eight weeks, anyway. You’re not the woman I thought I knew.”
“How in hell are we supposed to distance ourselves? We work cases together. Every day, if I have to remind you.”
“Keep it formal. I’m now Dr. Khaos from you, and you’re Detective Wright from me.”
“No buts. I’m done. We’re done.” His stomach twisted as he uttered those last two words.
About Ronnie Allen
Readers can find Ronnie at:
Today, on the Happy Holidays tour, I’m pleased to present Linda Mclaughlin and her western romance Lily and The Gambler.
My Western romance, Lily and the Gambler, set in the autumn in California Gold Country, specifically Grass Valley, 1868. My husband and I visited the area some years ago and I fell in love with it. Grass Valley was especially interesting to me because of the large Cornish population in the 19th century. This area had deep gold veins that couldn’t be panned. Cornish miners were encouraged to come because of their experience in the tin mines of Cornwall, which were petering out. To this day, the Cornish pasty is a local treat, and the city still celebrates a Cornish Christmas.
Lily & the Gambler
By Linda McLaughlin
Sensual Western Historical Romance
Respectability is in the eye of the beholder. Or so Lily Penhallow hopes when she assumes the guise of the widow Albright. She has learned the price of flaunting convention and is determined to obey society’s rules from now on. After her lover, Nigel Albright, was killed in a duel over a card game, Lily dons widow’s weeds and travels to Grass Valley, California where she plans to marry the man her uncle works for, a respectable mine owner named Hugh Ogilvie. Then, on the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets Creighton ‘King’ Callaway, a professional gambler, just the kind of man she should avoid.
King believes that since life is a gamble, there’s no point in planning for the future. You have to trust Lady Luck. After meeting Lily, King knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?
Only Lady Luck knows for sure…
(Previously published in a shortened version by Amber Quill Press)
Lily smiled at him. “That was quite a trick. Do you tell fortunes, too?”
“As a matter of fact, I do. Is the lady interested?”
“Perhaps,” she said, aware he was flirting with her again and annoyed with herself because she was enjoying it. “There should be a deck of cards here somewhere.”
“No cards required. Just let me see your palm.”
Unable to stop herself, Lily stripped off her gloves and let him take her hand. He held it in his left hand, and with his right index finger, traced the lines on her palm. Shivers ran up her arm at each caressing touch. His scent, a mixture of bay rum, male musk, and a faint hint of tobacco, overwhelmed her.
“What do you see?” she asked, her voice suddenly breathless.
“Health and long life.”
“What, no handsome stranger?” she joked.
He raised his head and stared into her eyes. “Oh, yes, I see romance ahead for you. With a dark haired fellow. But he isn’t a stranger.”
For what seemed an age, she stared into his green-gold eyes while her pulse quickened and warmth stole through her veins. It would be so easy to surrender to the feelings he evoked.
“I also see a fork in the road ahead,” he added softly. “You have a decision to make. A very important decision.”
She snatched her hand away, knowing she couldn’t afford to be distracted by him. It wasn’t as if he had made her any promises. “I think you need to practice your fortune-telling skills, Mr. Callaway.”
He chuckled. “There’s something else I’d like to practice.” Cupping her chin, he stared at her, his eyes full of half promises. “Oh, hell, I may get my face slapped for this, but…” His hand moved to the back of her neck as he lowered his head and captured her lips in a kiss that stole her breath away.
For a moment, she closed her eyes and gave herself up to the kiss. Then a door slammed somewhere in the house, reminding her of where they were. She pushed him away. “How dare you?” she hissed.
He gave her a lazy grin. “What’s that old saying? Nothing ventured, nothing gained?”
“I think you’d best be going.”
He paused at front door, turned and held her gaze for a moment, then left.
She sighed and leaned against the doorjamb. What had she been thinking to let him kiss her, however briefly?
At last he pulled the buggy off the road at a small clearing by the stream. He set the break and jumped out to help her from the conveyance. As usual, he held her a little too closely, only this time he didn’t let go when her feet touched the ground.
She stared up into his eyes. “King?”
“I can’t get over how lovely you are,” he said, his voice husky.
“You’re quite good-looking yourself.” She reached up to stroke his cheek, still smooth from his morning shave. Her heart was beating faster than usual. Would he try to kiss her?
He turned his head and pressed a kiss into her palm. He drew her closer and lowered his head. Just then she heard the noise of another horse and drew back.
“Anyone could see us. I have to be careful of my reputation.”
He cursed under his breath, grabbed the picnic basket and a blanket from the buggy and led the way through the woods to a more secluded spot by the stream. “Is this better?”
She peered back the way they had come, but couldn’t see the road. “Yes.” Though she knew it was never safe to be alone with this man, she went willingly. She must have lost her senses.
He spread the blanket on the ground and put the basket down before reaching for her. “Now where were we?”
She smiled. “I think you were about to kiss me.”
“So I was.” He pulled her to him, one arm around her waist and the other hand cupping her head. His lips were warm and searching, demanding she respond in kind. She sighed into the kiss. Goodness, she’d forgotten how blissful the act could be. She wrapped her arms around his waist and gave herself up to the kiss, delighting in the sensations coursing through her. How was she going to resist this man?
At last, he pulled his mouth away with a groan. “I want you, Lily, more than you realize.”
“I know,” she whispered, stepping away to stare at the water in the creek rippling below. “But I’m not ready for more than kisses.” She spoke the lie, knowing he needed no encouragement to take her right there. She wanted him, too, wanted to feel his skin against her own, feel his weight on her, the pleasure he could give her. But she was afraid. Afraid of losing control, of being caught in wanton behavior, of being ostracized from society. He’d made her no promises and his advances promised only ruination. “You want marriage,” he said.
She turned to look at him, not sure whether she should be angry or disappointed. “Ideally, yes. I need some assurances. What are your intentions, sir? Do you think to seduce me once and abandon me?”
He stepped nearer and ran a finger down the side of her face and neck. A shiver passed through her. “I doubt once would be enough.”
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Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it’s only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O’Farrell. A native of Pittsburgh, PA. she now lives in Southern California.
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