Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Title: Beautiful Collision
Author: T.G. Ayer
Release Date: Dec 10, 2014
Published by: Infinite Ink Books
Genre: Contemporary




Eighteen year old Gray McAllister is on the run. Leaving her dangerous past behind her is easier said than done, even when she finds herself at last able to forge a new life for herself.

But then the planets align and Gray finds herself bumping into super-hot Thane Blackwell. Drooling over him from afar is safe but that's only until she is forced to look after Thane while he recovers from surgery.

Being holed up in her apartment is a bad bad idea. Can Gray control the fire that Thane seems light inside her, or will she give in to her deepest desires. Can Thane achieve his goal without hurting Gray in the process?

The stakes are impossibly high, but love and lies don't play nice with each other. Will Gray's past catch up with her first? Or will Thane's own secrets explode and tear them apart?

I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practice given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes... I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It's a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves - it works wonderfully...

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands - I shall forever remain cross-eyed.


I love talking to my readers so email me if you have any questions or even if you just want to chat...

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Here is an Excerpt for your enjoyment:
Chapter 2
Watcher
Despite the dark glasses, I blink against the sunlight as it stings my skin. But I keep my eyes firmly on my mark. The girl is easy to track. Inexperienced. Naive. Thinks she isn’t being followed. It’s there in the false confidence of the way she walks, the way she holds her shoulders. Maybe it’s because I’m good at my job. Good enough that my target will never know how long I’ve tracked them, or how much time I spent watching them. I’m hoping it’s because I’m better than most at my job.
Otherwise the girl is a danger to herself.
I’m standing beneath a tree, amidst the bustle of midday sidewalk traffic, the shadows of the branches and sparse leaves providing meager cover in the baking sun. I’m watching as Sara Roshkov hurries across the busy road toward the entrance to the San Francisco Public Library. I have little idea what she’s come to the library for, which makes me more than curious. I can’t imagine she’d be loaning out a book; not now, when her life is in such turmoil. That leaves the option I don’t like – meeting someone.
The thought spurs me to move and I wait only until she’d reaches the top step before I jog across Larkin and enter the building after her. The cool air is a shock against my sweat-covered skin and I’m momentarily blinded going from bright sun to shaded interior. I keep my sunglasses on, habit and protection. She’s hurrying up the marble stairs and I pause to watch her, pretending to admire the high, glass ceiling of the atrium. I follow her up the stairs and watch her enter General Fiction. My shoes don’t make any sound on the stairs and I know she has no idea she’s being followed.
Her hair is short and black today, a wig she’s been using since she arrived in San Francisco. She keeps her neck straight and stiff. Seems she knows not to appear as if she’s looking over her shoulder. I’m not sure what she’s learned from her father but she sure has to learn a lot more about running and hiding so the likes of me won’t find her.
I’ve been tracking her for a while now and I feel a pull of something as I watch her. There is a fragile air to her and she’s lost weight, the hollows of her cheeks proof that life on the run doesn’t exactly involve luxuries like three square meals a day. And Sara Roshkov is used to a life of luxury considering the family she belongs to.
I follow, grabbing a book from the bestseller shelf beside me, keeping sufficient distance between us that she’d see nothing suspicious should she turn around. What she would see is a young guy, black jeans, black tee, black sneakers, much like her own dark clothing. The hoodie I’m wearing is equally nondescript, the ball cap plain too. Nothing I wore would stand out in a person’s memory should they spot me. My black hair is short, the style efficient and easy to maintain. Again nothing to remember me by.
She sneaks a look over her shoulder as she enters an aisle up ahead but her eyes graze my face and her gaze seeks further beyond me. I flip through the book and then enter the aisle next to her. She’s facing me and I can watch her through the stacks without her seeing me. She’s already halfway down her row, finger running along the covers as she searches for her book.
It feels a little voyeuristic but hell, the full scope of my job is inherently voyeuristic. I keep my attention on her as her finger stops on one particular book. Her expression is satisfied; she’s found the book she wants but before she takes it off the shelf her eyes cloud, the gray darkening to dark metal; a moment of doubt that shows on her face as if she battles the monsters within.
As much as I can read people, their eyes, their body language, it’s what goes on inside their heads that eludes even the best of us. Nobody can train you for that.
She straightens her back and then tilts the book toward her. taking it down from the shelf with extra care.
She flips to the back of the book and slowly the pieces fall into place. Someone has left something for her in that particular book. There are a number of possibilities but it’s clear that someone is helping her. Is it someone within her family? Roshkov had always kept his personal life totally private. Not that our surveillance hadn’t picked up on his many mistresses or his other extracurricular activities. The man was involved in everything from human trafficking to drug-running. No wonder his wife, having left for St. Petersburg a year ago, is still to return. Something is rotten in the Roshkov paradise perhaps?
Now, as I study his daughter I wonder if her mother is the wife in Russia or is she the offspring of one of Roshkov many affairs? There is too much we still need to know about Sara and perhaps we will get our break soon. One thing I do know is that she has a heart, that there is a goodness in her.
There is no way for me to tell what the book hides and any attempt to find out will likely jeopardize the mission. I could pass her by and steal the book from her without her even realizing it happened. But that won’t help the case.
She has what she wants, so now she heads out, and her shoulders relax a little. She thinks the coast is clear. I allow her that misconception. I hang back as she leaves the library, keeping my distance as she exits the building and heads back into the sunshine.
I’m her shadow as she hurries to a fast food joint where she buys a couple burgers and then keeps moving. I follow, my awareness turned on to full blast.
She heads further west, into the Tenderloin area of San Francisco. It didn’t surprise me that she’d chosen one of the most dangerous parts of the city to hide out in. What does surprise me is that she’s had the guts to stay there this long, hiding among the homeless and the drug dealers. People get killed every night in this area and so far she’s survived. If anything she is resourceful.
I’ve watched the building in which she’d found a place to sleep, cased the place once when she’d left for a soup kitchen a few blocks away. Other than that, I just watch and report back on her activities. Despite my impatience that we were too slow in getting info, despite my need for us to reacher the next level of this investigation in which we take Roshkov down, despite all my personal feeling I must remain clearheaded, keep my head in the game.
Now I watch her enter the deserted building as I lean against a light pole and pretend to light a cigarette.
I hear the buzz in my earwig that indicates someone is being patched through.
“Eagle, come in, over.”
I press the button on the comms. “Eagle here, over.” My eyes don’t move from the mark.
“This is HQ, do you have a situation report, over.”
“All quiet here, over.”

Tour Organized and Prepared by:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Eight Nights With A Hero

 Boxed Set:

Authors:    Dee J. Adams, Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey, Carolyn Crane, Misty Title:         Eight Nights with a Hero
Evans, Adrienne Giordano, Stacy Green, Katie Reus and Joan Swan
Publisher:    √Čire Publishing, LLC
Release Date:    December 16, 2014
Genre:     Romantic Suspense

Book Summary:

Cold Nights, Hot Heroes, and Eight Deadly Secrets…

Snuggle up to 8 riveting Romantic Suspense stories involving 8 Hot Heroes from all walks of life who will do anything to protect those they love.

PLEASE NOTE: This box set will be available only through January 31, 2015!

About the authors:

Dee J. Adams, Award Winning Author
IMMINENT DANGER (Adrenaline Highs Series Book 5) - Bad Timing Can Cost Your Life.

“…Between the sweet and steamy romance and the heart-pounding (literally) suspense... It was such a thrill…"

Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey, Readers’ Favorite Gold Award Winning Authors
COUNTERMEASURE (Countermeasure Series Book 1) - They’ll Have To Trust Each Other In Order To Survive.

“Amidst the heartwarming and beautifully written love story was a very cleverly and intelligently constructed suspense and mystery.”

Carolyn Crane, RITA Award Winning Author
OFF THE EDGE (Undercover Associates Series Book 2) - He’s A Spy Who Uses Language To Hunt Criminals. She’s A Poet With Deadly Enemies.

"Off the Edge is such a well-crafted romantic suspense story. Full of action and sparkling chemistry between Laney and Peter, this book is so much fun to read."

Misty Evans, USA Today Bestseller
OPERATION SHEBA (Super Agent Series Book 1) - He’ll Go Under The Deepest Cover Possible to Save Her Life.

"Evans takes readers on an edge-of-your-seat thriller into the secretive world of CIA operatives. A love triangle and a mole in the agency make this one story you won't want to put down."

Adrienne Giordano, USA Today Bestseller
THE EVASION (Justifiable Cause Series Book 2) - The World Of Knock-Offs Isn’t As Frivolous As It Appears.

"Adrienne Giordano delivers everything romantic suspense readers want…"

Stacy Green, Best Selling Mystery and Thriller Author
TIN GOD (Delta Crossroads Series Book 1) - The Truth Can Be As Deadly As Any Weapon.

“Stacy Green has written an emotionally charged, thought-provoking and stunning mystery/suspense that will capture and hold you hostage until the last page is read.”

Katie Reus, New York Times - USA Today Best Seller
MIAMI, MISTLETOE, and MURDER (Red Stone Security Series Book 4) - She’ll Fight To Protect Those She Cares About. He’ll Fight To Protect Her.

“Well written and a beautiful addition to an interesting series, Miami, Mistletoe, & Murder is a great read to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night.”

Joan Swan, New York Times - USA Today Best Seller
FIRST TEMPTATION (Covert Affairs Series Book 2) - He’ll Have To Go Deep Undercover To Expose Her Darkest, Sexiest Desires.

“I love Joan Swan's writing as even in a novella she manages to capture the heart of her characters.”




About Misty Evans


USA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life. Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled dogs.


To connect with Misty you can go to these websites:  Website , Facebook , Twitter , Newsletter

Here are a few blurbs from some of Misty's books.


Blurb for Operation Sheba (Super Agent Series, Book 1)
Julia Torrison—codename Sheba—is keeping secrets.

Seventeen months ago she was one of the CIA’s super agents, facing down dangerous terrorists with her partner and lover Conrad Flynn. After a mission was blown and Conrad died, Julia was yanked back to Langley and given a new identity. She is now the Counterterrorism Center’s top analyst, spending her days at CIA headquarters and her nights in her boss’s bed. Her former life as a secret agent has been sealed off with her heart.

Former SEAL Conrad Flynn—codename Solomon—has his own secrets.

For starters, he’s not dead. Going under the deepest cover possible, he faked his own death to save Sheba’s life. Now he must tear that new life apart and ask for her help to hunt down a traitor inside the Agency’s walls.

Is Conrad a rogue operative or a jealous ex-lover looking for revenge?

Julia must risk everything for the man who still holds her heart in order to decide. Drawn into a web of seduction and betrayal, she is forced to play the spy game of her life, flushing out an Agency mole and stopping a hostage situation using nothing more than her iPod and her intuition.


Excerpt from Operation Sheba
The wind chimes outside the patio doors clanged gustily in the wind. Julia sat on the floor, arms wrapped around her bent legs, watching the wind blow sheets of rain across the cracked concrete patio.
Would it help,” Conrad said quietly from behind Julia, “if I said I was sorry? Again?” His silhouette reflected in the glass as lightning ripped through the black sky.
She had sought solace in her apartment, locking the door behind her and leaving the lights off. An attempt, Conrad knew, to keep him out so she could hang her head and lose the control she had been fighting so hard to keep after learning of Michael Stone’s betrayal.
No. It wouldn’t help.” Her voice sounded steady and yet still smart with emotion. “You’d be lying. You’re not sorry it’s Michael.”
But I am sorry the asshole did a number on you.”
Julia’s eyebrows rose as she calmly accused him. “The pot calling the kettle black.”
Conrad clenched his jaw to fight back a response that would only get him in deeper shit. He couldn’t win this argument. No sense trying.
Julia, sensing his refusal to argue, shook her head mildly and ignored him again. A crack of lightning, the follow-up roll of thunder a few seconds later. Long minutes of silence.
Conrad shifted his weight from one foot to the other. Damn this sucked. He wanted her to lash out at him, yell, slam a door, cry in his arms again—like that hadn’t freaked him out a little, she never cried, but even that was preferable to this sudden silence—do something to blow off her anger and hurt. Then he could help her. But this…this withdrawal wasn’t healthy. The emotions would detonate inside her.
Maybe he should get in her face, argue with her until she broke. Tell her why he wasn’t like Stone. She would break, he knew that, and he damn sure would be there to pick up the pieces this time. “You have to talk to me, Jules.”
No, actually, I don’t. Leave me alone. I need some time to think.”
I have more information, more proof, if you want to see it.”
Julia cut her gaze to him as the rain continued to pelt the concrete. “I’ve seen and heard enough. The less I know, the more…how did Smitty put it? Effective? Yes that’s the word. The less I know the more effective I’ll be in your little sting operation.”
So you’re going to help us?”
She snorted. “Do I have a choice?”
No, he wanted to say, his need for her help almost as bad as his need for her forgiveness. At the same time he felt compelled after what he’d put her through to give her an out. “You always have a choice. I can’t force you to do this, to work with me.”
Her body tensed and he knew he’d said the wrong thing, although he wasn’t sure why it was wrong. Her help was critical to the success of the operation, but he didn’t want to push her into a corner. It would only backfire on him.
Her attention went back to the night outside the door. “What if,” she said, her voice controlled, deliberate, “the roles had been reversed seventeen months ago? What if you thought I was dead, Con, and it was your fault?”
Taking a step back, he let his back slide down the wall on the west side of the patio doors. He let himself think about it for a moment, but a moment was all it took. “I’d have gone crazy.”
Her response was just as quick. “But you’d have survived, just like I did.” And accurate.
Lightning flickered, illuminating Julia’s body with a blinking, strobe-like effect. The green eyes were black, her lips set in a grim line. Behind her set face, he knew she was coming to grips with Stone’s betrayal. With her current situation. With his request for her help. He watched as she continued to stare out at the night. She was right, they were survivors. Whatever the outcome of this operation, they would both survive.
He waited for her to tell him that. To assert that she would be fine. But silence was all he got.
Life with Julia had never been easy, but then he had never opted for easy in his life. To him, nothing easy was worth having. Challenge was what made his blood flow, his pulse pound.
Conrad had a superior operational mind and the balls to put his ideas into action. Intelligence mixed with cool logic and hyperawareness made him excel at everything from running agents to troubleshooting tickets for a sold-out game. Always ready for the next opportunity, he was an artful and cunning risk-taker. He loved the game and he loved to win.
In the 007 version of the Intelligence world, Conrad was an outstandingly good spy.
The problem was he had fallen in love with Julia, his opposite in ways the Myers-Briggs assessment test couldn’t begin to measure. And although her scope of assignments had been more limited than his, she was operationally his equal. That had caused just a few problems.
Being a good spook was the antithesis of being a normal person. Those who excelled at flirting with terrorists, assassins, drug dealers and the rest of the Earth’s scum usually sucked in the everyday departments of spouse, parent, or friend.
That’s all right, he thought. Take all the time you need, love. I’m not going anywhere. I’m never leaving you again…





 Giveaway Details
There will be two tour-wide prizes (two winners, US only):
First Prize: $40.00 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Second Prize: Box of Swag with contributions from all the authors.

Enter the Rafflecopter:



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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

 Burnout

Book one in a new series by author Shauna Allen.




I was given an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Burnout written by: Shauna Allen
This is a sweet YA love story that I really enjoyed reading. 
Blake is a rebel, a bad boy, girls love him, cops hate him and his home life is hell.  Underneath that tough guy act, there is a truly sweet guy with a tender heart who just needs to catch a break. 
Delilah comes from a wealthy family, her dad is running for office as the local sheriff, her mom is a judge, her sister is the perfect one and Delilah is the family disappointment. She doesn't want to date who her parents tell her to date, she doesn't want to go to college to study what they want her to study, sure her life looks perfect from the outside, but try living it for a while and you would see just how not perfect it is. 
Delilah and Blake seem like the unlikeliest couple, but when Delilah backs into Blake's car things change. Blake will not allow her to pay for the damages, so Delilah shows up at the auto shop to help him fix the damages. They both find out that neither one is what the other thought they were.
They face a lot of opposition to their relationship and it would be so much easier to give up and walk away from each other. Check it out and find out if they stick it out and stay together or if they walk away from each other content knowing that at least once in their life they had someone who truly loved them for who they are.
This is truly a sweet love story and anyone with a romantic heart will enjoy this story.

You can purchase this book at:
Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iTunes

Google Play

All Romance ebooks

Check out Shauna's website at:  http://www.shaunaallen.com/

Sunday, December 7, 2014



 The Last Wolf Standing: By Belinda Boring 

  Book Seven in the Mystic Wolves Series.




I was given an ARC copy in exchange for my honest review of this book so here it is:

I have loved each and every one of the books in this series.  With that being said I have to say that this one is my favorite one. 
Darcy and Mason have been through so much, their bond has only been strengthened by each challenge. Friendships made with other packs and with the vampires have only become stronger but in this book it is one sucker punch after another, one surprise after another.
Who is "The Master?"  Why is he so fixated on destroying Mason?  This book is full of  twists and turns and masterfully so written I could not put it down.
 New friends are made, old friends will be lost, Darcy, Mason and Devlin all must face their own demons in order to win the final battle against "The Master."  The final battle and the following chapters are heartbreaking so be prepared with a box of tissues on hand.  The ending is shocking and it does not disappoint, now I just have to fill in my time until the eighth book in the series comes out.

This book is now available for purchase at:

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1z5kpn7
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1eCLZBS
Apple ibooks:  http://bit.ly/LICJ2a
Kobo: http://bit.ly/WK1l15
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1gf90I7

Friday, December 5, 2014









A Soul for Atonement:  Book four in The Soulbearer Series by Crista McHugh.

I will be honest and start off by saying this is the first book by Crista McHugh that I have ever read, it will also be the first of many. I loved this book.  Even though I am starting this series on book four, I could totally get into the book and follow along and bond with the characters.  She gives you a bit of background during the book so you can start with book four and you can become immersed in the story.  The premises for this story I found refreshing and original.  
Arden is the soulbearer for Loku the God Chaos.  Loku has been torn from his body and then his body was cremated.  Loku is not a nice God nor is he,  I feel altogether evil.  He is tricky and a bit self centered, after all he is a God who must dwell in a mortals body, but he is not in control the mortal is in control of him, or at least they had better be.  Loku must be contained or he will drive the "soulbearer " insane. 
 Dev is Arden's protector.  However in this book, it is up to Arden to save him. Dev must pay for the past crime of the previous soulbearer, who stole an ancient relic from another Gods temple. The price to atone for that crime is Dev's death, unless Arden can recover the stolen relic and return it in time. In order to do that Arden must venture into the world of Chaos. The world of Chaos belongs to Loku, and it is where his power is the strongest, even without a body.

 Arden is forced to rely on Callix the one person who seems to hate her and distrust her more than anyone.  Can Arden trust Callix to protect her, when in the past he was such a coward? Will Callix survive what the God of Chaos has in store for him?

The story hooks you in, and has you turning pages until you realize you are at the end, then you just want the next book. 
 

Well written, fantasy with a love story, and danger interwoven in a masterful way.

To learn more about this and other books by Crista McHugh please visit her author page at: http://www.cristamchugh.com/wordpress/



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

 MAN LAW                                

 MAN LAW: Private Protectors, #2
Author: Adrienne Giordano
Release Date:         July 4, 2011
Genre:            Romantic Suspense

Sale Price &Dates:    $0.99 from November 20, 2014 – November 26, 2014
You can purchase here: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Carina Press



Book Summary:

Security Consultant Vic Andrews lives by his Man Laws:

Never mess with your best friend's sister
Never get caught
Never get attached

But he can't deny his irresistible attraction to Gina Delgado, a young widow with three kids and plenty of strings attached. Even so, having a physical relationship doesn't mean they're "in a relationship."
Gina lost her husband to tragedy; she is not getting emotionally involved with another man in a dangerous profession. Sleeping with Vic is just stress relief.

Until one of Vic's assignments goes wrong and the target selects Gina and her kids for revenge. There's nothing Vic won't do to protect Gina and the children--the family he realizes, too late, he wants. He'll accomplish his mission but will he have lost his only chance at true love?

MAN LAW Book Trailer:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:


USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane's Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Connect with Adrienne:WebsiteNewsletterFacebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team



Chapter One

Man Law: Never mess with your best friend’s sister.

Ah, shit.” Vic Andrews, butt head supreme, listened to the churn of the ocean’s waves. Or was it his life skittering off its axis?
Gina laughed that belly laugh of hers and he couldn’t help smiling. He extracted himself from her lush little body and rolled off. The St. Barth sand stuck to his back. Yep, they’d worked up a sweat. Salty sea air invaded his nostrils and he inhaled, letting the moisture flood his system.
Jesus Hotel Christ.
What had he been thinking? He’d been heading back to his room after closing down the resort’s bar and there she was, the girl—er, woman—of his dreams, crying on the beach. No condition for her to be in after witnessing her brother’s marriage to the love of his life.
Vic didn’t mention the fact it was 3:00 a.m. and she was alone on a secluded beach where any drunken asshole, like him, could have at her. Although technically he wasn’t drunk. Buzzed maybe. Big difference. Besides, they’d been at a wedding. Buzzed was allowed.
Gina moved and he finally turned toward her. “I’m—”
No, absolutely not,” she said. She swiped at her curly mane of dark hair. Her face gave away nothing, but that meant squat. Gina knew how to hide bad moods.
The whoosh of the ocean lapping against the shore distracted him and he stared into the blackness.
What did I say?” he asked.
You were going to apologize. I don’t want to hear it.”
Apologize? Him? “I’m not sorry.” He touched her arm. “Are you?”
Please don’t say you’re sorry. Please.
That would be all he needed. He’d just freakin’ obliterated the sister rule Mike had invoked nearly a million—maybe two million—times. The sister rule was Man Law, and Man Laws were about the only rules Vic followed.
He only wanted to check on her, and before he knew it, voila, the clothes were off, the condom was on and they were humping like bunnies right there on the beach. At least no one saw them. All the well-meaning people were asleep.
Gina brushed sand from her legs and stood to straighten the slip like dress he’d shoved up over her hips. The silky fabric glided over her curves, and the activity in Vic’s lower region made him groan. A thirty-five year-old mother of three, and she was killing him. He should be ashamed.
Screw that.
She was right there. Right there. And, because he’d probably never get the opportunity again, he should grab her and—
I’m not sorry,” Gina said. “Not about the sex. I’m sorry about other things, but this, I loved.”
Vic retrieved his pants and stood. Gina and her honesty. Good or bad, she just put it out there and didn’t worry about the repercussions. He guessed it came from losing her husband at the age of thirty-one. She had nothing to lose.
I need to go,” she said, watching him with her big brown eyes as the moonlight drenched her face. He put his shirt on. Did she have to look at him that way? Particularly when he wanted a replay.
Aren’t the kids bunking with your folks?”
They are, but you know how Matthew is. He might search for me.”
Fifteen-year-old Matt, her eldest son, took his job as man of the family seriously.
Right. Okay.” Vic motioned toward the resort. “I’ll walk you.”
Gina held up a hand. “I’ll be fine.”
Nuh-uh. No way. “I am going to walk you. It’s late and you shouldn’t go by yourself.”
Hell, she shouldn’t have been out here alone in the first place, but he knew she’d tear him a few new ones if he said it.
She stood there, peering up at him and—God—she was fantastic. She had a classic oval face with high cheekbones and a nose he knew she hated. For over two years now he’d imagined running his finger over the little bump in it, but never dared. Every inch of her seemed perfectly imperfect.
Blown sister rule.
Gina shoved her fingers through her curls. “We screwed up. I can’t believe it. We’ve been so good.”
We didn’t screw up. We had a simultaneous brain fart. Again.”
She laughed and shook her head.
Anyway, walk me to the edge of the beach. You can see my room from there and can watch me go up.”
Gina, what’s the big deal? Nobody will know we just—” he waved his hand, “—you know.”
It’ll be better if you don’t walk me. With his mental radar, Michael is probably waiting by the door. On his damned wedding night. I swear he’s a freak. He should stay out of it.”
Oh, boy. She was getting fired up. Maintenance mode. His friend needed protection. They were both ex-special ops, but they didn’t stand a chance against all five foot three of Gina.
Mike loves you. He’s trying to protect you.”
From you? You’re his best friend.”
Vic ran his hands over her shoulders. “Yeah, but I’m not right for you.”
The circumstances aren’t right. That’s true, but he doesn’t have to keep reminding me.”
He does it to me too.”
They strolled to the edge of the beach, and he squeezed her hand. Don’t go. Just stay for a while. All he wanted was more time with her. Not a lot to ask.
On tiptoes, she brushed a kiss over his lips. A little hum escaped his throat. What the hell was that?
I had a great time,” she said. “You were just what I needed.”
I think a ‘but’ is coming.”
We can’t do this again.”
Yep. Not good. “I know.”
She pulled her hand from his and hauled ass toward her room. Away from him.
He waited while she went up the stairs and she stopped in front of the window of the room next to hers. A minute later the door opened and Matt came out. He turned and, apparently using his Spidey sense, looked straight at Vic.
And we’re busted.
Chapter Two

Man Law: Never get caught.

Six Weeks Later

You got me,” Vic said when Lynx picked up the phone.
Whose number had he just called? Knowing Lynx, he probably talked some unsuspecting blonde into letting him use her phone. His old army buddy now worked for the State Department and was completely paranoid about their calls being traced. When Lynx wanted to speak with Vic regarding sensitive matters, he sent a fax—a fax for God’s sake—from the FedEx store down the street from his D.C. office. Vic would call him back from a secure line—in this case a prepaid cell phone.
You’re in a jackpot.”
Vic sat straighter in his desk chair. “Translate.” Lynx had a flair for drama, and being in a jackpot could mean a whole lot of bullshit things.
The job you did for us last month.”
A car horn honked from Lynx’s end. He must be outdoors. “The Israel thing?”
Yeah. The brother is pissed at you.”
There’s a shocker. The sheikh should be pissed at someone.”
Namely Vic, who’d been hired by a secret U.S. government agency to take out the sheikh’s little brother, an Osama wannabe. Mike, the CEO of Taylor Security, liked to call them off-the-books jobs.
No,” Lynx said. “He’s pissed at you. Your cover is blown.”
Vic’s shoulders went rock hard. He’d need a sledgehammer to get them loose again.
What the fuck, Lynx?”
Hey, I’m just giving you rumor mill here, but it’s coming from a good source. My contact at the agency accidentally let me find out. The sheikh threw money at someone who threw money at someone, and now he’s got your name.”
He shot out of his chair, every muscle in his body seizing. “Son of a bitch. Who gave me up? There can’t be six people who knew about that op.”
Please. With the kind of money this guy can toss around, anyone can be bought.”
Vic grabbed a pencil from the desk, snapped it in half. “Did I get set up?”
No. Someone got greedy.”
My ass is in the wind?”
Yeah. Watch your six. Gotta go.”
Vic punched the button to end the call. He’d wipe the phone clean and destroy it later. No harm in being careful. He stared out his corner office window. Just a businessman enjoying the June sun while the Chicago lunch-hour crowd swarmed the lakefront path. People everywhere.
Deep breath. Work the problem. When he’d taken the Israel job, the agency told him it was a solo mission. He’d sneak into the country as a tourist using a fake passport, and if he got into trouble, no one would pull him out.
He didn’t get into trouble.
He’d completed his mission.
For his country.
And now his cover was blown. Sure sounded like a setup.
The hammering in his ears started, and he stacked his hands on top of his head. This could be crap. Lynx said it was a rumor.
Vic hustled down the hall to Mike’s office and found him at his desk. Early in Vic’s army career, he and Mike were Rangers together and they had a history of saving each other’s asses.
I got a problem,” Vic said as he stormed into the office and shut the door behind him. He took three deep breaths. Focus.
Mike snapped his head from his computer and stared. His dark eyes had an intensity that drove the ladies wild, but these days he was a one-woman man.
You heard me right. I got a problem.”
Vic had maybe uttered those words three times in the fifteen years he’d known Mike. Each time, someone had been injured or dead. Mike leaned back in his swanky leather chair. Felix Unger’s contemporary twin could have decorated this place. Everything in chrome, with sharp angles and fancy art. One lone stack of paper sat neatly bundled to the left. Mike didn’t go for mess.
What’s up?”
Remember the job I did last month? Lynx just called. My cover is blown. The sheikh spent big bucks to find out who I was.”
Mike squinted. “Those fuckers gave you up?”
One of them, yeah.”
Do you know who?”
Hell no. And it’s too damned bad, because I’d like to break his fucking knee caps.”
Pain shot through Vic’s jaw and he lightened up on the teeth grinding.
Okay,” Mike said. “We can assume they’re gonna come after you.”
Vic stalked the office. Crap. Sweat beaded down the sides of his face and he swiped at it. He was losing it. Fear was not something he allowed himself, but this rattled him. When was the last time that happened? How about never? The last few months had been this way, though. Something gnawed at him, eating away his insides.
Five years with Delta Force ensured he could take care of this problem, but he didn’t want to do it in a city that had welcomed him when he left the military.
We got a whole army of guys here ready to cowboy up,” Mike said. “We could even bring a few back from overseas.”
They had at least five hundred men in the Middle East protecting U.S. officials.
Hell, I trained most of them and you want to put them on me? I can take care of myself.”
Fuckin’ A, bubba. Maybe Vic’s ego was getting in the way, but at thirty-six years old he’d had a whole career of spec ops training. Offering him protection came as an insult.
Mike shook his head. “Hey, asshole, did I say you couldn’t? All I’m saying is we put some muscle around you. Eyes in back of your head.”
Eyes in the back of his head. Mike had been his eyes for years now. Wasn’t he the one who’d given Vic a job when he needed one? Now they were partners. Mike handled high-end security, and Vic handled the civilian contractor assignments. The neutralizing-terrorists stuff.
There’s no credible threat yet. I’m supposed to tie up man power for a maybe?”
Mike shrugged. “But you think it’s solid, or you wouldn’t have come in here.”
He had him there, and Vic scratched his head. The hammering in his ears went bye-bye, leaving behind the wilting end of the adrenaline rush.
I brought a shit storm on us.”
Mike rolled his eyes. “Are we having a moment here or what? Don’t get ahead of yourself. Let’s see what happens. Meantime, put a team together and I’ll sign off.”
We may not need them, but I’ll put something on paper.”
Right. Let’s get someone to sweep your car and your apartment building. Just to be safe.”
Vic nodded. “Already on it.”
Watch yourself,” Mike said.
This sucked. He should fight this alone, but knew if this guy came after him, he’d need a team. The gut shredding began. People, maybe his friends, were going to die.
And it would be his fault.


Gina had three checks for her brother to sign, one of which was for a company credit card maxed out by an overseas operative. Michael wouldn’t be happy.
A quick stop in the ladies’ room on the third floor allowed her to freshen up. She never knew when she’d run into Vic, but it always helped to be prepared. She fluffed her hair, checked her lipstick and gave herself a once-over in the full-length mirror. She wore the champagne pencil skirt and matching silk blouse her sister-in-law picked out. Not bad. Pretty darn good actually.
Roxann liked helping her choose age-appropriate clothes for the thirty-five-year-old she was, rather than the coed look she’d gotten used to. Gina liked her low-rise jeans and T-shirts, but maybe she was in a rut. A deep one. For four years now.
The romp on the beach with Vic made her realize she needed to make changes. To stop clinging to the person she’d been before Danny died. That person evaporated when a burning building collapsed on her husband and destroyed her world. Accepting the new normal hadn’t come easily, and she’d been fighting it by not altering the tangible things like wearing clothes Danny liked or hanging his uniform in the bedroom closet so she’d see it every day. Keeping things the same meant preserving some part of her cherished husband.
This included focusing on their children. On making them whole when half the parent base had disappeared. Putting their needs first and hers last. Wasn’t that what good mothers did? But somehow Gina the woman got lost, buried under the rubble of a burning building.
The time had come to dig out. Enter Roxann and her all-around good taste. Despite her penchant for classic clothes, Roxann could find things with a little funk to them. She made for a great sister-in-law, and Gina reminded Michael every day he’d better not blow it.
With a final flip of her hair, she left the ladies’ room and headed for Michael’s office. Vic stepped into the hallway, turned and smiled the slow wicked smile that always sent her heart into overdrive. Add the green eyes, the messy blond hair and the oh-so-sexy goatee, and a girl was done for.
Hey, you,” he said. “What’s going on?”
Gina stopped a foot or two in front of him. Otherwise, she’d get whiplash trying to look up at all six foot five of him.
I have checks for Michael to sign.”
He glanced toward Michael’s office, then back at her. Something was off. She searched his face, took in the rigid jaw, the crease between his brows and—bam—his eyes. Missing today was the twinkling mischief that promised a girl he’d put a smile on her face but wouldn’t relinquish his emotional armor while doing so.
Are you okay?” she asked. “You seem distracted.”
He smiled the player smile this time. Like that would work on a woman raising three children. Puh-lease. Surely she’d lost her mind thinking he’d admit something to her. “Forget I said anything. If you need to talk, let me know.”
She stepped around him, but he reached for her and a zing shot through her arm. Damn. After that glorious night on the beach he couldn’t touch her without her body betraying her. Not that he’d touched her since then. On the contrary, he usually acted like she had a skin rash.
I’m sorry,” he said. “You’re right. I am distracted. No big deal.”
Fine. Just know my offer stands.” She held up the checks. “I need to get these to Michael.”
He pushed a curl from her cheek. What was with him today?
Look at you.”
What?”
Vic shrugged. “You look…different.”
Different? What the heck did that mean? “New outfit. Rox helped me with it.”
Ah.”
Enough of this already. Because, really, she didn’t have time. She was getting nowhere with him when all she wanted was to get somewhere. And then he went and did it. He tilted his head and parted his lips just so slightly and a burst of heat exploded inside her. Suddenly, the hallway seemed tight. Closing in as his stare filled the space. At any second, it would occur to him that he should attempt to mask his feelings. The idiot hadn’t yet realized his ability to hide from her dissolved two years ago in her basement. That had been the first time she’d noticed the look and it still tortured her. Damn him for bringing it all back.
Her fingers twitched at the memory. Kneeling on top of the dryer battling the water that had shot from the pipe and doused her. And Vic staring at her in a way that made her miss having a man to curl up with.
Holy shit,” he had said.
The words cut through the sound of gushing water and penetrated her focused struggle with the valve. “The handle is stuck.”
His gaze traveled along the ceiling, darting along the pipelines. Slow. Considering.
Idiot,” she screamed, “the valve is here.”
He stepped around the large puddle forming on the cement floor and stormed to the back corner of the basement. “No kidding, but I’m not getting wet when I can cut the main supply.”
The main supply?” What?
And suddenly, the river slowed to a trickle. She stared at the pipe, gave it a whack with the wrench. Bastard pipe.
For two years she’d been living as a single mom, dealing with appliances that failed, shoveling snow, getting the car serviced. Never mind raising three kids whose moods shifted like swings in the wind. She been doing it all, hadn’t she?
Without a man.
Until the flipping water valve got stuck. With Michael not around, she’d been forced to call Vic when all she wanted was to take a bat and smash that stupid valve to a million little bits. Just destroy that piece of crap. She pounded her fists on the washer because she didn’t need this evil, blasted, hateful valve making her feel like she needed a man.
Vic stood a few feet from her, hands on his hips. Did his lips quirk? She swore they did. No, sir.
She flicked the wrench at him. “Don’t you laugh. I’ll come down there and beat you to death. You will be bloody if you laugh at me.”
He remained silent. One of his better choices, because she was just mad enough to let him have it. She tossed the wrench down, pushed her saturated hair from her face. “I’m sorry I called you an idiot. That was mean.” She held her hands wide. “Look at me! I’m soaked.”
Oh, I’m looking.”
The rumble in his tone drew her attention and she found him, head tilted, lips slightly parted, eyes focused on her…chest.
The one encased in a soaking-wet tank top.
A white one.
With a sheer lace bra underneath. Lovely. Her very own wet T-shirt contest. She gasped and spun away because…well…Vic. Never before had he done this, and heat poured into her cheeks.
Two years she’d been without a man’s hands on her. Two long years without passion. Without sex that left her loose limbed and quivering. And he had the nerve to look at her like he wanted nothing more than to put his hands on her.
Wait a second. Why not? She deserved attention. Didn’t she?
Besides, he had great hands. Big hands that let a girl know he’d take care of her.
And then she lost her mind.

Copyright © 2011 by Adrienne Giordano
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.


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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

                          Rumor (Renegades Novella)

Book Summary:

Former Navy SEAL Josh Marx thinks he has it all figured out. He’s living the bachelor lifestyle in southern California, running risk assessment for the Renegades, but most importantly, he’s finally gotten over the unrequited love he’s harbored for his former teammate’s ex wife. Then his buddy calls from overseas, worried because he hasn’t heard from his ex, and asks Josh to check in on her. Josh doesn’t want to get involved, but the same code that urged him to walk away in the first place is suddenly pushing him to change his Christmas plans.

Grace Ashby doesn't appreciate the sexy SEAL trying to step in and take over. He thinks she’s hit rock bottom by working at a strip club, but she knows differently. She could set him straight, but he’s already rejected her once, and she doesn’t need one more man judging her.

She tells him to butt out of her business and her life. But Josh’s conscience won’t let him walk away this time. 



Here is a little look inside Rumor:   (for adults.  Some language)

She strolled to Josh’s side and paused, greeting the bartenders, Sandra and Kelly. “How much did he drink?”
    Sandra straightened bottles underneath the counter, and gave Grace a sympathetic grimace. “I cut him off when he’d finished half a fifth.”
    Grace grimaced and sucked air through her teeth. That was eight shots. “Shit.”
    Sandra lifted a shoulder, glancing at Josh. “He’s a big guy. Averaged about two shots an hour. He’ll be okay.”
    “He’s so sweet, Nikki,” Kelly said. “Not to mention smokin’ hot. Kept his back to the stage all night. Kept asking when you’d be off. If you aren’t keeping him, would you mind giving him my number? I never meet nice guys like that.”
    Grace sighed and turned her gaze on Josh. His hair was a tousled mess, one closed eye visible beneath the fringe. The sight of his long golden lashes curved against his cheekbone took Grace back to what had seemed like magical months together. From the moment he’d been flown back to San Diego from Syria, Grace had been by his side.
She fingered back the butter-soft strands of hair that had fallen into his eyes. A soft smile turned her mouth, and tears welled out of nowhere. She sniffed them back, then squeezed his shoulder to wake him. “Josh, time to go home.”
    His lashes fluttered, but he remained perfectly still as he gained his bearings. Only then did he sit up slowly. He rubbed his face on a heavy exhale. “How long was I out?”
    “Not long,” Sandra said.
    “Maybe ten minutes.” Kelly added with a flirty smile. “You can sleep on my bar anytime.”
    He licked his lips, pulled cash from his pocket and laid out two hundred dollar bills, one for each of the women. “Thanks for keeping me company ladies.”
    Both Sandra and Kelly lifted their brows at Grace.
    “Okay, big spender, where are you staying? And how are you getting there?” She could easily drive him to his hotel, but she was tired, and absolutely didn’t want to get into another argument.
    “Nowhere.” He reached for a small bowl of mints sitting on the bar and popped one into his mouth. “I wasn’t planning on staying. Shit, I have to call my mom.”
    He stood and took a few steps away from the bar, the phone at his ear.
    “His mom?” Kelly asked in a hush. “God, he’s adorable. I just want to take him home.”
    Take him home. That thought lit off flashes all over Grace’s body. “He’s not that adorable. Josh,” she lifted her voice and he turned around. “It’s too late to call your mom. Three hour time difference, remember?”
    “But they’re expecting me...” he rolled his wrist to look at his watch—the same watch Isaac and their entire team had worn. “Ah, shit. They think they’re picking me up at the airport... Hey, yeah, mom,” he said into the phone, “it’s me. I’m sorry, I didn’t make my flight... No, no, everything’s fine. I’m still coming. Yes, I promise. Okay. I’ll call you tomorrow. Love you.”
    He disconnected with a groan and sank onto the stool again, dropping his head. “Fuck me.”
    Kelly’s hand shot up. “Yes!” Grace and Sandy shot Kelly a what-the-hell look, and Kelly gave an impish grin and a little shoulder shrug. “Nikki knows my number if you ever have the urge to offer that up again.”
    Josh chuckled. Then turned his head, still resting against his arms. His eyes were clear, sky blue, sleepy, and scanned her face intimately, caressing every surface from her forehead to her chin. “There’s my girl.” His mouth tipped up at the corner. “You look twelve years old again.”
She’d scrubbed off all her makeup, changed into shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops, and thrown her hair into a pony tail. Yeah, she’d probably taken a decade off her looks. And the affection in Josh’s eyes when he saw the Grace beneath all the props swelled her heart against her will.
“You didn’t know me when I was twelve,” she said.
“But I saw pictures. Remember when your mom brought your photo albums to the team’s BBQ?” He laughed. “God that was sweet.”
Sandy’s hands worked a towel over a glass, but she was shooting Grace her why-exactly-aren’t-you-jumping-this-guy look.
The past washed in and took every ounce of comfort from the moment. Grace answered Sandy’s silent question with, “Long story.”
Customers beckoned and Sandy and Kelly drifted down the bar again.
“You’re even more beautiful than I remember,” he murmured.
She sighed, running her fingers through his hair. “And you’re even more obnoxious.” He grinned, that sleepy, sloppy grin that made her insides ache. “Shit, what am I going to do with you?”
He lifted his head and propped it on his palm, then curled the other hand around hers. “Talk to me, Gracie.”



                    About the Author:


 
Skye Jordan is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling romantic suspense author Joan Swan. Skye’s novels are about enjoying that little wild streak we don’t let out often enough. About those fantasies we rarely get the opportunity to indulge. About stretching limits, checking out the dark side, and maybe even acting a little naughty. They’re about escape and fun and pleasure and romance.

And, yes, even love, because while wicked-great sex is good, happily ever after with wicked-great sex is even better. Skye (aka Joan) lives on the central coast of California in the heart of wine country with her husband and two daughters. As often as possible, she retreats to a hotel with critique partners for a power-writing week where much drinking, laughing, and yes, even working, ensues. When she’s not writing, Skye goes to breakfast with her hubby, attends her daughters’ barrel races, and spends a lot of time with her own horse, Riddle…while her two dogs, Paxton and Indie, tag along. She also loves to read, knit, craft, row, ride, and dabble in photography.




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