May 012014
 

 

Jenny Carpenter is the unrivaled pie-baking champion of Last Chance, South Carolina’s annual Watermelon Festival and the town’s unofficial spinster. With her dream of marriage and children on hold, she focuses on another dream, turning the local haunted house into a charming bed-and-breakfast. But her plans go off course when the home’s former owner shows up on her doorstep on a dark and stormy night . . . Mega-bestselling horror writer Gabriel Raintree is as mysterious and tortured as his heroes. His family’s long-deserted mansion is just the inspiration he needs to finish his latest twisted tale, or so he thinks until he learns it’s been sold. The new innkeeper proves to be as determined as she is kind, and soon Gabriel finds himself a paying guest in his own home. As Jenny and Gabe bring new passion to the old house, can she convince him to leave the ghosts of his past behind-and make Last Chance their first choice for a future together?

Read an excerpt

“We have plenty of time for you to tell me your secrets. And I can tell you mine. You don’t have to bear every burden all by yourself, you know.”

He wanted to believe that most of all, so he didn’t move. He didn’t try to leave her. He didn’t open the door and walk away. He sat there and let her seal the deal with a kiss. She leaned over the console and touched her soft lips to his. The kiss started out tentatively, as if she was testing him to see what he might do.

He should have pushed her away like the other times.

But her kiss was like a healing balm. It seemed to work its way into all the endlessly aching places in his soul. It filled him up with something golden and pure, like some miraculous elixir. And so he fell into the kiss as hard as he’d ever fallen into a kiss. He opened his mouth and she moved in and blew all his good intentions and deep fears to smithereens.

***

Jenny unlocked the two locks on The Jonquil House’s front door. Her heart was pounding so hard she couldn’t breathe. This was it. She was taking charge, but holy God she didn’t have the first idea how to actually do that.

It was still kind of amazing that Gabe was here, coming back to the inn knowing that they were not going to say good night and go to their separate bedrooms. And really, she was starting to have a tiny bit of performance anxiety. It had been one hell of a long time since she’d gotten intimate with a man.

More important, if she was crazy enough to buy into what Savannah Randall had suggested earlier in the evening, then there was a boatload riding on this moment. Like her heart and her future. Which explained why her hands were shaking so badly that she was fumbling with the keys.

It seemed to take an eternity to get the door open. She was running out of time to think of something hot and sultry to say that would get him up to her bedroom.

Then, as the door swung inward, Bear came flying down the hall and knocked her back into Gabe’s waiting arms. The dog was probably ruining her green dress with his paws up on her chest, but he was giving her lots and lots of sloppy dog kisses, and somehow that seemed exactly right for the moment.

Because it made Gabe laugh. He was right behind her, holding her up. And he’d used the moment to sneak his big manly hands around her waist while he propped her up against his sturdy chest and hips, where she discovered that Gabe was turned on.

Evidently, he didn’t need any sultry lines. The kisses they’d shared in the car had done the trick. They were some first-class kisses.

His heat penetrated her being and wormed its way into every cell of her body, melting her so that she kind of settled back into him with a vocal sigh.

“Bear. Down. Now.” Gabe could be commanding when he chose to be.

The dog obeyed. And she found herself back on her own two feet while Gabe shut and locked the door.

“He needs to be walked,” she said, suddenly realizing that a dog complicated things. And then something else occurred to her. “You were going to leave Bear behind? With me?”

He turned away from the door and aimed his gaze on her. His eyes seemed even darker, and his look lit a fire in her. “He’s your dog,” he said.

She shook her head. “No, I think he’s our dog.”

The corner of his mouth twitched. She wanted to kiss it and wondered why the heck she was holding back. She needed to break free of these restraints that she’d imposed on herself for all these years.

But before she could act on the impulse, he was striding down the hall toward the kitchen.

“Wait.” She followed after him.

He pulled the dog’s leash down from the hook by the back door. “I’ll walk the dog.”

She didn’t want him to leave her. If he did, she’d lose her nerve. Or maybe he’d talk himself out of it.

She shook her head. “No, we’ll walk the dog after.” And she took a couple of steps toward him, snaked her arms around his neck, and pulled him down for the kiss she’d wanted to give him a moment before.

His mouth met hers, his lips firm and moist and gentle. When he opened the seam of her lips, his tongue proved to be exceptionally talented.

She ran her fingers up into his hair, and he made a noise that made her feel powerful in a way she had never felt before.

His mouth left hers and trailed a string of kisses and half bites along her jaw and down into the hollow of her neck.

Her insides melted, as if some warm being had breathed spring into the desolate, cold places that she’d been guarding. The walls came down. She stopped worrying. She stopped thinking.

She simply was. Alive.

Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.
Connect with Hope at these sites:

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Flying is Theo Jacobson’s passion. Soaring above the clouds, he’s on to the next adventure . . . and the next woman. So when he comes home to Everson, Texas, for his big brother’s wedding, it’s nothing but a pit stop. He’ll act as best man, cover the family business while the happy couple honeymoons, and be on his way before the champagne goes flat. But all that changes when he comes face-to-face with the wedding planner-the very same woman who broke his heart without a backward glance years ago.  Irene Cornwell started I Do I Do with a wing and a prayer. Now, with two weddings under her belt, it’s a piece of cake . . . until Theo lands back in town. Just seeing his twinkling blue eyes and infuriatingly sexy smile turns her world upside down. For the sake of her business, she proposes an uneasy truce. But when the wedding is over-all bets are off!

Read an excerpt
If he was smart he’d follow her suggestion. Get the hell out of here, go home, and take a cold shower. But he’d never been smart about Ree, and it was hot. Summer in Texas hot. And her swimming pool was just sitting there waiting to be of some use. He put his tools away and headed for the bath house. An odd assortment of suits hung from hooks on the wall, and he picked a pair that looked like long plaid walking shorts. They fit just fine, so he grabbed a towel and walked out to the pool.
Ree must have still been in the house, but he didn’t wait for her. He dove into the deep end of the pool, letting the cool water shock his system. He stayed under water, swimming with his eyes open until he reached the shallow end of the pool, and then he turned around without surfacing and swam the other direction. His lungs were burning from a lack of oxygen, so he was finally forced to come up for air. Good God. The sight before him nearly knocked the breath out of him all over again.
Wearing a purple bikini and nothing more, Ree walked out of the back door gliding toward him like a model on one of his fantasy runways.
**
Irene walked out the door just as Theo was rising from the water like a sleek water god. Neptune’s warrior. Or some mythical creature. His black hair was slicked back from his face. Water cascaded down his bulging arms, across his broad chest, and ran over his flat stomach. He’d gained more muscle since she’d first known him and the result was extraordinary. Unfortunately for her peace of mind, he was gorgeous. Absolutely. Undeniably the epitome of male perfection. A beautiful boy grown into the manliest of men. Damn it all and a box of rocks.
She put her eyeballs back in their sockets and tried to act casual. If she didn’t want to make a fool of herself she’d have to keep things light –act unaffected. Working with him this afternoon had already put her into a state of unbridled ditziness. She kept sneaking peeks at the way the muscles in his arms bunched as he swung the hammer, or the way he used his long legs, lifting the thick boards over his head before putting them in place. The hot Texas sun must have baked her brain because he suddenly seemed even more attractive than usual. She was supposed to be immune. But the way his dark hair artfully curled around the top of his ears seemed designed to make her blood thicken with need. Those eyes. Cool blue and watching her, calculating her responses, but she’d lost track of what he wanted from her years ago, and the time she’d spent with him the last few days had done nothing to clarify anything at all. Especially what and how she felt about this man.
It had taken her way too long to decide what bathing suit to wear. Like it mattered. It wasn’t like she was going on a date, for goodness sakes, but his remark about her not wearing a suit made her self-conscious, and resentful, and turned on all at the same time. She was letting the man screw with her head, and that was the one thing she’d promised she wouldn’t do. First she started to put on a black one piece racing suit that covered as much skin as possible, but it felt like she was being manipulated into wearing it. Like she was ashamed that he’d seen her naked on his arrival into town. Then she grabbed a two piece that had a little skirt. Modest, but showing a little more flesh. She held it up in the mirror and frowned at the polka dot design. It looked like something a clown might wear. To hell with it. She picked up her favorite purple bikini, slipped it on, and marched outside with her head held high.
The impact of seeing him all wet and bare-chested was like taking a shot of tequila on an empty stomach. Hot quivers ran through her veins. Intoxicating. She’d been without a man for much too long if he could make her feel so out of control just by taking his shirt off. It took all of her mighty concentration not to stop and gawk. But she was proud of herself. She made it to the side of the pool, but then stopped having no idea what to do next. Conversation was way beyond her power. As a kid she’d always liked to make a splashy entrance, so she let out a yell and executed the perfect cannon ball, rocking the pool, and hoping he might be gone when she surfaced for air.

 

Molly Cannon lives a charmed life in Texas with hernearly perfect husband and extremely large cat Nelson. When she’s not writing, she spends her days reading, taking dance classes with the hubby and watching all kinds of sports. 
Connect with Molly at these sites:

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DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

 

Mar 302014
 

WELCOME BACK KATIE LANE

KATIE LANE

Katie Lane’s interest in romance was sparked in high school in the backseat of a ‘65 mustang—okay, so maybe it wasn’t romance as much as raging teenage hormones. Still, coupled with a wild imagination, those make-out sessions inspired many a steamy storyline along with a strong belief that true love does prevail. Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with the owner of that mustang and is the bestselling author of the Deep in the Heart of Texas series.
Connect with Katie at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

ABOUT THE BOOK

A MATCH MADE IN TEXAS is the sixth book in Katie Lane’s bestselling, witty and sexy Deep in the Heart of Texas series.

Living with four over-protective brothers is enough to make a good girl go bad. But the day Brianne Cates hits the road for a taste of freedom, she gets more trouble than she bargained for when she’s arrested by a sexy sheriff in mirrored shades. Now doing a stint of community service, she’s not going to let a cowboy cop like Dusty Hicks mess with her newfound independence-even if he awakens every wicked fantasy she’s ever had.

In Bramble, Texas, Dusty is the law. That means no leniency for the gorgeous rebel whose highway antics almost got them both killed. The divorced lawman doesn’t need another rich, pampered princess, even if Brianne has the lushest body and sweetest smile in the whole darn state. But even as Brianne proves that she lives to walk on the wild side, Dusty begins to wonder if maybe he has what it takes to tame her….

BOOK DETAILS:

Genre: Fiction
Published by: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN-10: 1455575801
ISBN-13: 978-1455575800

PURCHASE LINKS:

           

forever2

DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Mar 272014
 

WELCOME LORI WILDE


LORI WILDE

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Wilde has written sixty novels. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensics. She volunteers as a sexual assault first responder for Freedom House, a shelter for battered women. Lori is a past RITA finalist and has been nominated four times for the Romantic TimesReviewers’ Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, the Lories, the More Than Maggie, the Golden Quill, the Laurel Wreath, and the Best Books of 2006 Book Award. Her books have been translated into twenty-five languages and featured in Cosmopolitan,RedbookComplete WomanAll YouTIME, and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.
Connect with Lori at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

ABOUT THE BOOK

LICENSE TO THRILL
Las Vegas private eye Charlee Champagne is absolutely fearless. But when handsome Mason Gentry strides into her office, demanding to know where his grandfather is, she can’t control the goosebumps. It’s not like Mason to be in Sin City while the biggest deal of his banking career wraps up without him, but one moment with Charlee brings out his wild side. Before he knows it, Mason is on a mission, driving pedal to the metal across the desert with the toughest, sexiest woman he has ever met . . .

YOU ONLY LOVE TWICE
Comic book creator Marlie Montague’s life isn’t as exciting as her heroine’s . . . until someone points the business end of a pistol right at her. Now she needs help from a real-life action hero: her rock-hard Navy secret-agent neighbor, Joel Hunter. Soon he and the beautiful Marlie are blowing the doors off a full-blown conspiracy with more double agents than a Bond flick. But the real mystery is: How does Marlie manage to leave Joel both shaken and stirred?

READ AN EXCERPT

“You live your entire life by someone else’s rules, is

what you do,” she mumbled.

“What?” He cocked his head. “I didn’t quite catch what

you said.”

“Nothing.”

“You muttered something. Let’s hear it.”

Charlee folded her arms over her chest. “I said, lest you

forget, we’re being followed.”

“That’s not what you said.”

“Pretend it is.”

He knew exactly what she’d said and she was right. He

was a law- abiding man. Where would society be if everyone

threw the rules of civilized behavior out the window?

Charlee probably went for those swaggering bad boy types

who broke the law and broke her heart with equal ease.

“So let them follow us.”

“Need I remind you my grandmother’s trailer was ransacked,

we were shot at, and someone torched my father’s

apartment complex?”

“Your father did that.”

“No he didn’t.”

“Whatever you say.”

“What does that mean?”

“I’m tired of arguing with you.” The woman could

wear a professional fi libuster into the ground.

“Oh, no, no, no.” She shook a fi nger. “You don’t believe

me and simply saying you do doesn’t change your mind.

You can’t just give in because you don’t want to argue.”

“Yes I can. See, I’m shutting up. No more arguing

with you.”

Gleefully, Charlee found the chink in his logic. “Good,

then let’s ditch the Bentley.”

“No.”

“Thought you weren’t going to argue.”

“Sit back and hush.”

He wondered if he was going to have to kiss her in

order to shut her up. Why was kissing her such an appealing

idea?

This had to stop. He was almost engaged.

Think of Daphne.

Determined, he tried to call up Daphne’s image and

his mind went blank. He struggled to summon her scent

but instead of the fl oral aroma of Daphne’s expensive

perfume, he could only smell Charlee’s fresh soap scent.

Instead of mentally seeing Daphne’s sleekly coiffed blond

hair, he saw long, jet- black tresses twisted in beguiling

braids. Instead of hearing Daphne’s dulcet acquiescence,

his ears vibrated with the sound of Charlee’s deep,

throaty- voiced fi rmly held opinions.

Something about Charlee called to that wildness inside

of him he’d buried along with Kip. The wildness that

scared him because he knew what trouble it could cause.

The wildness he missed and feared with equal intensity

BOOK DETAILS:

Genre: Contemp. Romance
Published by: Forever/GCP
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Number of Pages: 660 pages
ISBN: 1455553077
ASIN: B00DTUHMMC

PURCHASE LINKS:

           

DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Mar 012014
 

WELCOME BACK KATE BRADY

KATE BRADY

Kate Brady is a RITA Award winning author, choral director, university professor, wife, mother, and caretaker of a variety of furry, feathered, and scaly pets. She lives with her family in Georgia, where she is currently at work on her next novel.
Connect with NAME at these sites:

WEBSITE       

Q&A with Kate Brady

Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

Both.  Thankfully, my personal experiences aren’t nearly as tragic as the horrific events my characters endure.  That is, I haven’t been fired or stalked, I haven’t lost a child or sibling, and I haven’t experienced parental rejection, familial hatred, divorce, murder, or the host of other traumas I force upon my characters.  So the personal experience comes to play in more subtle ways… I do know what it’s like to suffer loss, to fight disease, to fear for a child, to fall in love, to have needs and fears and yet want to stay strong.  Things like that.  And many real-life events, sayings, and characters (or character traits) do make it into my manuscripts here and there.  Current events also factor in, though more and more, I realize that I couldn’t possibly write many of the shocking things I see on the news: No one would buy it as a plausible premise.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I’m not a plotter.  But in romantic suspense, let’s face it—we all know the end before we crack open the first page: The villain will be vanquished and true love will prevail.  As for the specifics of how we wind up there, I do better when I let it happen organically than when I try to control things. So I create some character backstory, figure out what the villain is up to, decide on wounds and goals for the hero and heroine, and then turn them all loose together and see what happens.  It’s usually the end of the book before I really find out what it was all about.  Then I go back and weave in the things that make it work and take out the things that may have once seemed relevant to the story, but wind up not really mattering.  The most enjoyable part of the process for me is being surprised by what happens next.  I know that sounds strange, but that’s the way it happens for me.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
Routine? I have no routine, though I wish I could.  My days are only minimally routine, so I’m one of those writers who carries my laptop at all times and squeezes out words whenever and wherever I can… While waiting to pick up my children at school, during intermission of a concert, between classes, in the waiting room of a dentist’s office.  When I do have big chunks of time at home to write, the kitchen island or any comfy chair will do.

Idiosyncrasies?
We have a zoo of animals, so there’s almost always a dog on the sofa beside me, cats trying to snooze on my laptop, and/or cockatiels climbing around on my shoulders.  (Is that idiosyncratic, or just weird?)  And maybe because my house is so full of distractions, one thing I love to do is take my laptop to a cozy restaurant, order something-wonderful-that-I-didn’t-have-to-make, and read or write there.  I know some people don’t like to go to restaurants alone, but it’s one of my favorite ways to treat myself and still get some work done.

Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
I’m a professor of music and choral conductor: I teach two or three courses every semester at a large state university and I’m the choral director at a church.  So writing is my third job, though both of the other jobs are now part-time positions.

In addition, I have two teenagers and a hubby.  Enough said.

What are you reading now?
I’m currently on the judges’ panel for the International Thriller Writers (ITW) annual awards so I’m reading a ton of different authors just now, all of them vying for Best Thriller 2014!  It’s a wonderful experience.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
Right now I’m working on my fifth book, which is the third novel in this set.  The first two featured brothers Nick and Luke Mann as heroes, and now I’m writing their sister, Alayna.  Every time I write a psycho-killer, I think I’ve reached the limit for what kinds of twisted psyches can drive a story, then I launch into another and find there’s someone even creepier chasing my heroes and heroines.  In the third book (following WHERE ANGELS REST and WHERE EVIL WAITS), a villain known as The Sandman has haunted the coasts for decades, burying his victims alive beneath the sand.  WHERE DANGER HIDES will come out in 2015.


Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
Keyboard.  There’s something about the action of typing that gets my brain going and feeds the creative process.  Hand-writing just leads to doodling.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
I love to cook.  And I spend way too much time watching cooking shows, surfing recipes, and reading foodie magazines.  I figure anything that gets my kids’ friends to say, “Hey, let’s go hang out at YOUR house” is good, so I like having good eats around for the area teenagers.  It’s not conducive to quiet writing time, but I figure it’s better having them at our house than at…er…many of the other places they’re prone to hanging out.

Also, in the spring, I love to spend time in my gardens.  Though I will admit that by August, the Atlanta heat has usually sapped me of that desire and I spend the second half of the growing season cursing myself for having planted so much back in April!

Favorite meal?
Except for the fact that I won’t eat anything that swims, I’m not picky.  My favorite is probably something with a Caribbean or tropical flare:  Jerk-anything, something along the lines of pineapple-mango-pepper salsa, fire-roasted fresh veggies or grilled plantains.  Yum!

ABOUT THE BOOK

SHE’LL RISK EVERYTHING
Special prosecutor Kara Chandler is very good at her job, so good that a homicidal mastermind vows to kill her and everyone she cares about. Desperate to save herself and her son, Kara seeks out cartel hit man Luke Varón. The last time she dealt with Luke, she saw him beat the system and escape prison. But now, the most dangerous man she’s ever met is the only one who can keep her alive.

HE’LL STOP AT NOTHING
Luke Varón isn’t who he appears to be. After spending years in the criminal underworld, he seeks redemption . . . and revenge. Yet when he sees the fear in Kara’s eyes, he can’t walk away. People around her are being murdered, and only he can help uncover the killer’s motive. Now as danger closes in, Kara and Luke must trust each other with their darkest secrets – before the evil in their lives destroys them both.

Read an excerpt

It was an odd place to find Kara Chandler, at an odd time: a squalid alley in the armpit of Atlanta, nearly midnight. The air sweltered like August—code orange, said the news, with dramatic warnings for asthma sufferers and the elderly to stay inside—and here, in an alley off Vine Street, the odors of urine and smog and rotten trash clung to every surface like a film.

Luke Varón inched to his left, peering past a Dumpster to the sidewalk. An odd place indeed for Kara Chandler, yet there she was, looking nothing like he’d expected. The heels were gone, her normally businesslike bun now falling in gold waves over her shoulders. In place of the usual classic suit, she wore jeans and a short-sleeved blouse, and instead of a fashionable purse, a shapeless macramé sack hung over one shoulder with her right hand buried deep inside.

Gun.

“Mr. Varón?”

Her voice stroked the night and every fiber of Luke’s body tightened. Damn, he shouldn’t be here. In two days, eight-and-a-half tons of cocaine would arrive, and with it, frank Collado. Luke had spent the last week securing the route from Colombia. He’d returned to the States a few hours ago, longing only for a clean bed and about sixteen hours to languish in it.

What he’d found was a message from Kara Chandler: Assistant District Attorney for Fulton County and Andrew Chandler’s wife. As either identity, she could threaten the security of the shipment. As both, she was downright dangerous.

“Mr. Varón?” she said again.

Luke strung the silence out another inch then said, “Here.”

She whirled, a bulge forming in the canvas of her bag. “Where? Come out, damn it.”

He did, leading with a G18. Her gaze dropped and he watched the details of the weapon register in her eyes: a lightweight, 9mm shooter with a threaded barrel to accommodate a silencer, and just now sporting an extra magazine that held thirty-three rounds. Tonight, he’d added the extra clip just for show, but in fully-automatic mode, the G18 could fire all thirty-three bullets in less than two seconds. It was legal only among law enforcement and the military.

Luke Varón was neither.

He didn’t know what she was carrying, but it didn’t take her long to determine she was out-classed. The bulge in the bag slackened.

Luke tipped his Glock skyward. “Your turn,” he said, but Kara Chandler didn’t move. “Lady, pull your fucking hand out. I’d hate to fill you with bullets and then learn you were going for lipstick.”

An inch at a time, she withdrew her hand—empty. Luke lifted the edge of his Armani suit coat and tucked his gun in the holster. He took two steps to his left so when she angled to keep her eyes on him, the frail light caught her face. Not that he needed any reminders what she looked like: hair the color of sunlight, bottle-green eyes dulled by tragedy, pale skin with two, teasing little tucks in her cheeks that flashed like lightning when she was angry and perhaps—Luke could only speculate here—when she smiled. Without her heels, she stood only a few inches above five feet, but she carried herself as if meeting him eye to eye.

On her turf, in a courtroom trying to convict him of murder, for example, Kara Chandler was the definition of cold control. Out here, she was wired so tight Luke thought she might snap if she so much as took a deep breath.

“You called?” Luke asked.

“Yes,” she said, but beneath the steel nerves, Luke caught a quaver in her voice. “I have a proposition for you.”

Luke feigned delight. “Now, what could a faithful public servant like you want with a common criminal like me?”

“I want to hire you,” she said, and he almost blinked. He caught himself and arched a dark brow instead.

“I’m not a stockbroker or private chef, Ms. Chandler.”

“I know what you are. You’re a drug cartel hit man, an arsonist and cold-blooded killer. So this job should be right up your alley. I want you to blow up a boat and make sure its owners die in the fire.”

Luke was flabbergasted. Christ. “Why me?”

“Because you can get away with it. You proved that when you walked out of court a month ago. You can get away with anything.”

“Flattery,” he said. “But you must know dozens of good criminals.”

Her gaze might have melted steel. “Besides you, the criminals I know are behind bars.”

“Ah, yes,” Luke said, letting the hint of a smile show. “You aren’t accustomed to a checkmark in the LOSS column. I’m sorry I tarnished your record.”

She took a step toward him. “It wasn’t a loss, it was a mistrial. You should be in prison for the rest of your life.”

“Lucky for you I’m not. Who would you call to commit your felonies?” He cocked his head. “Is the District Attorney really so desperate that he’s sending you into dark alleys?”

“I told you, this is personal.”

“Prove it.”

“Excuse me?”

He skimmed down her blouse buttons. “Show me you aren’t wearing a wire.”

Her eyes blazed, but Luke could see that she was thinking about it. Considering stripping her clothes in a lonely, dark alley with a hit man for the Rojàs cartel, just to prove she wasn’t wired. Proof enough, Luke thought, and couldn’t quite believe his eyes when her fingers rose to her blouse and the first disk slipped through the hole. Jesus, she was going to do it. He felt like a twelve-year-old who’d just stumbled on a Playboy on a magazine under a mattress, watching her cleavage and the upper swells of her breasts come into view, her flat, pale belly revealed an inch at a time. His blood drained from his brain as she slid the blouse from her arms and let it drop to the pavement with her bag.

You don’t have to do this. The words rose to mind but didn’t make it past his lips. She unzipped her jeans and shimmied the denim over her hips—an unconsciously seductive move from any woman in any circumstance, and almost unbearably so in the heat of night with a woman of Kara Chandler’s lithe curves and unexpected mystique. Luke’s mouth went dry and she stepped from the jeans, then straightened and squared her shoulders.

The notion of sixteen hours in bed took an unexpected turn. Luke swallowed and took his time looking. Long, slender limbs and gently flaring hips, lace-edged underwear cut high enough and low enough to accentuate soft curves usually encased in power-suits. Her breasts strained against pale satin cups, and Luke’s fingers curled into fists with the desire to trade the bra for his hands.

“Satisfied?” she asked.

“Hardly,” Luke said, with more honesty than he intended. He stepped toward her, noting a trickle of perspiration trail between her breasts even as a shiver drew her nipples tight. “You and I both know transmission devices can be almost imperceptible, except upon close inspection.” He circled around her, stopping at her back to brush a hand beneath her hair and lift it from her shoulders, fanning his fingers through the waves. A sweet scent rose to his nostrils from the pulse point on her throat, an incongruous touch of elegance in the fetid alley.

But there were no electronics. If she was wearing a wire, it was installed someplace that would require exploration to find. That thought sent a surge of blood against his zipper, but a wave of anger flowed right behind it. Kara Chandler was no blushing virgin. She was a widow and a mother, an Assistant District Attorney in a major metropolis, a woman who’d taken Luke to court once for murder.

And she was playing a game. Luke didn’t like games when he didn’t know the rules.

He coiled the mass of gold around his hand and tightened the slack, tipping her head back to expose a pale stretch of throat. “You think it’s a good idea, presenting yourself to me like this? Perhaps you don’t know what I’m capable of.”

“I know exactly what you’re capable of,” she said, through clenched teeth. “It’s the reason I called you. And I’m fully aware that you have Gene Montiel’s resources at your disposal, and that you can disappear on a moment’s notice to a nation without extradition. But understand that if I am murdered here tonight, nothing short of that will keep you from being arrested.”

Luke tightened his grip on her hair, pulling her nearly-naked frame against him. “Murder wasn’t what I had in mind,” he whispered. A bit of bald truth in a tangle of lies. He waited for a shiver of fear, but instead she jerked away, teeth bared.

“Do it, then.”

Luke stared.

“You think I don’t know what kind of man you are? That I didn’t know before I came here what you might demand?” Her voice vibrated with anger, maybe even with disgust, but at the same time, tears bloomed in her eyes. “Your mistake is in thinking I care,” she shot. “If sex is the currency you want, then get it over with. It’s hot out here and it stinks.”

Warning bells went off. Walk away. A tumble with Kara Chandler wasn’t worth losing the shipment. Or Frank Collado.

Walk away.

Luke stepped back, scooped her clothes from the ground and fired them at her chest. “Count yourself lucky that I’m partial to brunettes,” he said, but didn’t bother turning away while she hurried back into her clothes. He tried not to notice the sense of loss in his gut as she covered herself, tried not to wonder what—besides a set-up—would drive a woman of the law to such extremes as to try to hire a hit.

That thought was more than Luke could ignore. She bent down to pick up her bag and just before she would have walked away, he stopped her with his voice. “Ms. Chandler,” he said, “you never told me: Whose boat and whose death?”

She looked him straight in the eyes. “Mine.”

BOOK DETAILS:

Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Number of Pages: 426 pages
ISBN: 1455502065
ASIN: B00CO7GIDA

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Feb 212014
 

WELCOME BACK JILL SHALVIS

JILL SHALVIS

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling,  award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
Connect with Jill at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

Q&A with Jill Shalvis

Ben’s a bit lost at the beginning of the book, unsure of what he wants to do with his life.  Did you always have his story—and how it would end—in mind?
I did.  Every once in awhile, I really enjoy torturing a hero to the end.

Your main character Aubrey is remodeling her aunt’s bookstore so it can be a haven for other booklovers as it was for her when she was younger. Did you have a special place growing up (or do you have one now?) where you love to read?
I always had a soft spot for bookstores.  And libraries.  They were my special hideaway haven.  I really went back and forth on using a bookstore in today’s day and age, but in the end, I wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite places on earth.

What scene did you have the most fun writing?
Oh I have quite a few from this book!  When Aubrey throws her drink in Ben’s face, when she runs and hides out in an AA meeting and makes friends with the pastor, when Ben figures out she’s writing a list of people she’s wronged and he wonders that it’s not a lot longer than it is, when Aubrey gets a little tipsy and throws rocks at Ben’s window like a scene right out of the Say Anything movie …

What’s the most interesting way you got around a plot problem?
I wrote myself into a corner in Once In A Lifetime, twice.  I wrote XX happens here and it will be brilliant and funny.  And then I accidentally left that in when I sent it to my editor.  I’m sure she wasn’t as amused as I was.

What can your fans look forward to next in the Lucky Harbor series?
Next up is a Lucky Harbor trilogy for this coming summer and fall, It’s In His Kiss, He’s So Fine, and Once In A Million, the stories of the three sexy hot guys who run Lucky Harbor Charters.

ABOUT THE BOOK

SOMETIMES WRONG IS OH-SO-RIGHT
After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniel tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he’s back in his hometown and face-to-face with Aubrey Wellington, the hot-as-hell woman who is trouble with a capital T. Family and friends insist she’s not the one to ease his pain, but Aubrey sparks an intense desire that gives Ben hope for the future.

Determined to right the wrongs of her past, Aubrey is working hard to make amends. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is sexy, brooding Ben – even though he has absolutely no idea what she’s done . . .

Can this unlikely couple defy the odds and win over the little town of Lucky Harbor?

Read an excerpt

          A few snowflakes floated lazily out of the low, dense clouds.  One block over, the Pacific Ocean carved into the harbor, which was lined by three-story high, rugged bluffs teeming with the untouched forestland that was the Olympic Mountains.  Around him, the oak-lined streets were strung with white lights, shining brightly through the morning gloom.  Peaceful.  Still.

A month ago, he’d been in South America, elbows deep in a project rebuilding a water system for the war-torn land.  Before that, he’d been in Haiti.  And before that, Africa.  And before that … Indonesia?  Hell, it might have been another planet for all he remembered.  It was all rolling together.

He went to places after disaster hit, whether man or nature made, and he saw people at their very worst moments.  Sometimes he changed lives, sometimes he improved them, but at some point over the past five years, he’d become numb to it.  So much so that when he’d gone to check out a new jobsite at the wrong place, only to have the right place blown to bits by a suicide bomber just before he got there, he’d finally realized something.

He didn’t always have to be the guy on the front line.  He could design and plan water systems for devastated countries from anywhere.  Hell, he could become a consultant instead.  Five years of wading knee deep in crap, both figuratively and literally, was enough for anyone.  He didn’t want to be in the right hellhole next time.

So he’d come home, with no idea what was next.

BOOK DETAILS:

Series: Lucky Harbor (Book 10)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
ISBN-10: 1455521132
ISBN-13: 978-1455521135

PURCHASE LINKS:

           

THANKS TO MARISSA  AT GCP/FOREVER,
ENTER BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN
A COPY OF ONCE IN A LIFETIME

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DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.